Stem cell research

Molecular profile of clonal strains of human skeletal stem/progenitor cells with different potencies.

PMID 25814434


Bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs, also known as bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells) are fibroblastic reticular cells, a subset of which is composed of multipotent skeletal stem cells (SSCs). SSCs/BMSCs are able to recreate a bone/marrow organ in vivo. To determine differences between clonogenic multipotent SSCs and similarly clonogenic but non-multipotent BMSCs, we established single colony-derived strains (SCDSs, initiated by individual Colony Forming Unit-Fibroblasts) and determined their differentiation capacity by vivo transplantation. In this series of human SCDSs (N=24), 20.8% formed fibrous tissue (F), 66.7% formed bone (B), and 12.5% formed a bone/marrow organ, and thus were multipotent (M). RNA isolated from 12 SCDSs just prior to transplantation was analyzed by microarray. Although highly similar, there was variability from one SCDS to another, and SCDSs did not strictly segregate into the three functional groups (F, B or M) by unsupervised hierarchical clustering. We then compared 3 F-SCDSs to 3 M-SCDSs that did segregate. Genes associated with skeletogenesis, osteoblastogeneis, hematopoiesis, and extracellular matrix were over-represented in M-SCDSs compared with F-SCDSs. These results highlight the heterogeneity of SSCs/BMSCs, even between functionally similar SCDSs, but also indicate that differences can be detected that may shed light on the character of the SSC.