In Vitro Characteristics and In Vivo Immunosuppressive Activity of Compact Bone-Derived Murine Mesenchymal Progenitor Cells



In contrast to the considerable amount of data that documents the biological properties of mesenchymal progenitor cells from human and other species, there is still paucity of information about mouse counterparts, as their purification and culture expansion procedures remain rudimentary. In the present study, murine mesenchymal progenitor cell (muMPC) culture was developed by explant culture of collagenase-digested bone fragments after removal of the released cells. During cultivation, fibroblastoid cells sprouted and migrated from the fragments, followed by adherent monolayer development. The cells exhibited homogenous surface antigen profile and presented in vitro multipotential differentiation along osteocyte, chondrocyte, and adipocyte lineages, as evaluated by matched cell or matrix staining and reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction techniques. Also, the surface antigenic epitope changed and potential of proliferation and multidifferentiation decreased with successive subculturing. Functional investigations demonstrated that these cells supported in vitro hematopoiesis and suppressed lymphocyte cell proliferation triggered by ConA or allogeneic splenocytes. Furthermore, muMPCs prolonged the mean survival time of skin grafts across the major histocompatibility barrier (H2b → H2d), suggestive of the immunosuppressive effects in vivo. The findings demonstrate that muMPCs obtained with this simple protocol are similar in property to their marrow counterparts, and thus, the protocol described here could be used for further investigations in mouse physiological and pathological models.