Reasons for performing study: Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) represent an attractive source for regenerative medicine. However, prior to their application, fundamental questions regarding molecular characterisation, growth and differentiation of MSCs must be resolved.
Objectives: To compare and better understand the behaviour of equine MSCs obtained from bone marrow (BM) and adipose tissue (AT) in culture.
Methods: Five horses were included in this study. Proliferation rate was measured using MTT assay and cell viability; apoptosis, necrosis and late apoptosis and necrosis were evaluated by flow cytometry. The mRNA expression levels of 7 surface marker genes were quantified using RT-qPCR and CD90 was also analysed by flow cytometry. Differentiation was evaluated using specific staining, measurement of alkaline phosphatase activity and analysis of the mRNA expression.
Results: High interindividual differences were observed in proliferation in both cell types, particularly during the final days. Statistically significant differences in viability and early apoptosis of cultured AT- and BM-MSCs were found. The highest values of early apoptosis were observed during the first days of culture, while the highest percentage of necrosis and late apoptosis and lowest viability was observed in the last days. Surface marker expression pattern observed is in accordance to other studies in horse and other species. Osteogenic differentiation was evident after 7 days, with an increasing of ALP activity and mRNA expression of osteogenic markers. Adipogenic differentiation was achieved in BM-MSCs from 2 donors with one of the 16 media tested. Chondrogenic differentiation was also observed.
Conclusions: Proliferation ability is different in AT-MSCs and BM-MSCs. Differences in viability and early apoptosis were observed between both sources and CD34 was only found in AT-MSCs. Differences in their osteogenic and adipogenic potential were detected by staining and quantification of specific tissue markers.
Potential relevance: To provide data to better understand AT-MSCs and BM-MSCs behaviour in vitro.