Serum-free, xeno-free culture media maintain the proliferation rate and multipotentiality of adipose stem cells in vitro

Author(s): Lindroos B, Boucher S, Chase L, Kuokkanen H, Huhtala H, et al.

Abstract

Background aims: Human adipose stem cells (ASC) are an abundant, readily available population of multipotent progenitor cells that reside in adipose tissue. ASC have been shown to have therapeutic applicability in pre-clinical studies, but a standardized expansion method for clinical cell therapy has yet to be established. Isolated ASC are typically expanded in medium containing fetal bovine serum (FBS); however, sera and other culturing reagents of animal origin in clinical therapy pose numerous safety issues, including possible infections and severe immune reactions.

Methods: To identify optimal conditions for ex vivo expansion of ASC, the effects of seven serum-free (SF) and xeno-free (XF) media were investigated with both FBS and allogeneic human serum (alloHS; as a control media). Surface marker expression, proliferation, morphology and differentiation analyzes were utilized for investigating the effects of media on ASC.

Results: The proliferation and morphology analysis demonstrated significant differences between ASC cultured in SF/XF culture media compared with serum-containing culture media, with medium prototype StemPro MSC SFM XenoFree providing significantly higher proliferation rates than ASC cultured in media containing serum, while still maintaining the differentiation potential and surface marker expression profile characteristic of ASC.

Conclusions: Looking forward, fully defined XF media formulations will provide the means for the development and approval of safer clinical cell therapy treatments. However, to fully recognize the capacity of these XF culture media, further pre-clinical safety and efficacy studies must be performed.

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