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Bone marrow donor selection and characterization of MSCs is critical for pre-clinical and clinical cell dose production



Cell based therapies, such as bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs; also known as mesenchymal stromal cells), are currently under investigation for a number of disease applications. The current challenge facing the field is maintaining the consistency and quality of cells especially for cell dose production for pre-clinical testing and clinical trials. Here we determine how BM-donor variability and thus the derived MSCs factor into selection of the optimal primary cell lineage for cell production and testing in a pre-clinical swine model of trauma induced acute respiratory distress syndrome.


We harvested bone marrow and generated three different primary BM-MSCs from Yorkshire swine. Cells from these three donors were characterized based on (a) phenotype (morphology, differentiation capacity and flow cytometry), (b) in vitro growth kinetics and metabolic activity, and (c) functional analysis based on inhibition of lung endothelial cell permeability.


Cells from each swine donor exhibited varied morphology, growth rate, and doubling times. All expressed the same magnitude of standard MSC cell surface markers by flow cytometry and had similar differentiation potential. Metabolic activity and growth potential at each of the passages varied between the three primary cell cultures. More importantly, the functional potency of the MSCs on inhibition of endothelial permeability was also cell donor dependent.


This study suggests that for production of MSCs for cell-based therapy, it is imperative to examine donor variability and characterize derived MSCs for marker expression, growth and differentiation characteristics and testing potency in application dependent assays prior to selection of the optimal cell lineage for large scale expansion and dose production.

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