Human adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells: serial passaging, doubling time and cell senescence

Biotech Histochem. 2012 May;87(4):303-11. doi: 10.3109/10520295.2011.649785. Epub 2012 Jan 17.


Adult adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (AD-MSC) are very interesting to our research group because they are easy to harvest, they are abundant in humans, and they have potential clinical applications in autologous cell therapy for disc degeneration. We examined these cells through sequential serial passages to assess osteogenic and chondrogenic capabilities, mean doubling time and cell senescence. Osteogenic and chondrogenic potencies were maintained through 13 passages. Mean passage doubling time increased significantly with increasing passage number. When donor age was evaluated, passages 1-4 from older donors had significantly longer doubling times compared to cells from younger donors. Passages 5-11 showed similar findings when analyzed by donor age. The mean percent senescence increased significantly with cell passaging, rising from 0% at passage 1 to 3.4% at passage 13. These novel data suggest that caution should be exercised when using AD-MSC with long passage times.

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / chemistry
  • Adipose Tissue / cytology*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cellular Senescence
  • Chondrogenesis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteogenesis