Phenotypic and functional comparison of optimum culture conditions for upscaling of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells

Author(s): Pal R, Hanwate M, Jan M,Totey S

Abstract

Human adult bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are a promising tool in the newly emerging avenue of regenerative medicine. MSCs have already been translated from basic research to clinical transplantation research. However, there is still a lack of consensus on the ideal method of culturing MSCs. Here we have compared different culture conditions of human MSCs with an attempt to preserve their characteristics and multi-lineage differentiation potential. We compare the different basal culture media DMEM-F12, DMEM-high glucose (DMEM-HG), DMEM-low glucose (DMEM-LG), knock-out DMEM (DMEM-KO) and Mesencult on the proliferation rate, surface markers and differentiation potentials of MSCs. At every fifth passage until the 25th passage, the differentiation potential and the presence of a panel of surface markers was observed, using flow cytometry. We also compared the characteristics of human MSCs when cultured in reduced concentrations of fetal bovine serum (FBS), knockout serum replacement (KO-SR) and human plasma. Data indicate that the presence of serum is essential to sustain and propagate MSCs cultures. The choice of basal medium is equally important so as to preserve their characteristics and multipotent properties even after prolonged culture in vitro. With MSCs emerging as a popular tool for regenerative therapies in incurable diseases, it is essential to be able to obtain a large number of MSCs that continue to preserve their characteristics following passaging. The data reveal the optimum basal medium for prolonged culture of MSCs while retaining their ability to differentiate and hence this may be used for up-scaling to provide sufficient numbers for transplantation.

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