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In vitro cell motility as a potential mesenchymal stem cell marker for multipotency.

Stem cells translational medicine (2014-12-05)
Alessandro Bertolo, Armin Gemperli, Marco Gruber, Benjamin Gantenbein, Martin Baur, Tobias Pötzel, Jivko Stoyanov
ABSTRACT

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are expected to have a fundamental role in future cell-based therapies because of their high proliferative ability, multilineage potential, and immunomodulatory properties. Autologous transplantations have the "elephant in the room" problem of wide donor variability, reflected by variability in MSC quality and characteristics, leading to uncertain outcomes in the use of these cells. We propose life imaging as a tool to characterize populations of human MSCs. Bone marrow MSCs from various donors and in vitro passages were evaluated for their in vitro motility, and the distances were correlated to the adipogenic, chondrogenic, and osteogenic differentiation potentials and the levels of senescence and cell size. Using life-image measuring of track lengths of 70 cells per population for a period of 24 hours, we observed that slow-moving cells had the higher proportion of senescent cells compared with fast ones. Larger cells moved less than smaller ones, and spindle-shaped cells had an average speed. Both fast cells and slow cells were characterized by a low differentiation potential, and average-moving cells were more effective in undergoing all three lineage differentiations. Furthermore, heterogeneity in single cell motility within a population correlated with the average-moving cells, and fast- and slow-moving cells tended toward homogeneity (i.e., a monotonous moving pattern). In conclusion, in vitro cell motility might be a useful tool to quickly characterize and distinguish the MSC population's differentiation potential before additional use.

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