Age-related characteristics of multipotent human nasal inferior turbinate-derived mesenchymal stem cells

PLoS One. 2013 Sep 16;8(9):e74330. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0074330. eCollection 2013.


Background and objectives: Multipotent mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) represent a promising cell-based therapy for a number of degenerative conditions. Understanding the effect of aging on MSCs is crucial for both autologous therapy development and allogenic donors in older subjects whom degenerative diseases typically afflict. In this study, we investigated the influence of donor age on the characteristics, proliferation, and differentiation potential of in vitro cultures of multipotent human turbinated mesenchymal stem cells (hTMSCs) from patients of various age groups.

Subjects and methods: Twelve patients comprised the four age groups: (I) <20 years, (II) 20-39 years, (III) 40-59 years, and (IV) >60 years. Inferior turbinate tissues were discarded from patients undergoing partial turbinectomy. After isolating hTMSCs, the expression of the hTMSC surface markers CD14, CD19, CD34, CD73, CD90, CD105, and HLA-DR was assessed by FACS analysis, and cell proliferation was assessed using a cell counting kit (CCK)-8. The differentiation potential of hTMSCs was evaluated in osteogenic media by histology and determination of osteoblastic gene expression.

Results: FACS analysis revealed that hTMSCs were negative for CD14, CD19, CD34, and HLA-DR, and positive for CD73, CD90, and CD105, representing a characteristic MSC phenotype, and showed no significant differences among the age groups. Cellular proliferation and osteogenic differentiation potential of hTMSCs also showed no significant differences among the age groups.

Conclusions: We conclude that donor age does not affect the characteristics, proliferation, and osteogenic differentiation potential of hTMSCs. Donor age may be excluded as a criterion in the guidelines for clinical use of the autologous or allogenic transplantation of hTMSCs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Antigens, CD / metabolism
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Middle Aged
  • Multipotent Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Multipotent Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Turbinates / cytology*
  • Young Adult


  • Antigens, CD

Grant support

This research was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (2010-0011249), the Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital Clinical Medicine Research Program year of 2013 through the Catholic University of Korea, Catholic Institute of Cell Therapy in 2013, the Otorhinolaryngology Alumni Fund of the Catholic University of Korea made in the program year of 2013, 2012 Research Fund for the Colleague of Catholic University Medical College, and the Catholic Medical Center Research Foundation made in the program year of 2013. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.