Clinical translation of mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) necessitates basic characterization of the cell product since variability in biological source and processing of MSCs may impact therapeutic outcomes. Although expression of classical cell surface markers (e.g., CD90, CD73, CD105, and CD44) is used to define MSCs, identification of functionally relevant cell surface markers would provide more robust release criteria and options for quality control. In addition, cell surface expression may distinguish between MSCs from different sources, including bone marrow-derived MSCs and clinical-grade adipose-derived MSCs (AMSCs) grown in human platelet lysate (hPL).
In this work we utilized quantitative PCR, flow cytometry, and RNA-sequencing to characterize AMSCs grown in hPL and validated non-classical markers in 15 clinical-grade donors.
We characterized the surface marker transcriptome of AMSCs, validated the expression of classical markers, and identified nine non-classical markers (i.e., CD36, CD163, CD271, CD200, CD273, CD274, CD146, CD248, and CD140B) that may potentially discriminate AMSCs from other cell types. More importantly, these markers exhibit variability in cell surface expression among different cell isolates from a diverse cohort of donors, including freshly prepared, previously frozen, or proliferative state AMSCs and may be informative when manufacturing cells.
Our study establishes that clinical-grade AMSCs expanded in hPL represent a homogeneous cell culture population according to classical markers,. Additionally, we validated new biomarkers for further AMSC characterization that may provide novel information guiding the development of new release criteria.
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The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13287-016-0370-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.