Clonal analysis of synovial fluid stem cells to characterize and identify stable mesenchymal stromal cell/mesenchymal progenitor cell phenotypes in a porcine model: a cell source with enhanced commitment to the chondrogenic lineage

Cytotherapy. 2014 Jun;16(6):776-88. doi: 10.1016/j.jcyt.2013.12.003. Epub 2014 Feb 12.


Background aims: Previous studies have demonstrated that porcine synovial membrane stem cells can adhere to a cartilage defect in vivo through the use of a tissue-engineered construct approach. To optimize this model, we wanted to compare effectiveness of tissue sources to determine whether porcine synovial fluid, synovial membrane, bone marrow and skin sources replicate our understanding of synovial fluid mesenchymal stromal cells or mesenchymal progenitor cells from humans both at the population level and the single-cell level. Synovial fluid clones were subsequently isolated and characterized to identify cells with a highly characterized optimal phenotype.

Methods: The chondrogenic, osteogenic and adipogenic potentials were assessed in vitro for skin, bone marrow, adipose, synovial fluid and synovial membrane-derived stem cells. Synovial fluid cells then underwent limiting dilution analysis to isolate single clonal populations. These clonal populations were assessed for proliferative and differentiation potential by use of standardized protocols.

Results: Porcine-derived cells demonstrated the same relationship between cell sources as that demonstrated previously for humans, suggesting that the pig may be an ideal preclinical animal model. Synovial fluid cells demonstrated the highest chondrogenic potential that was further characterized, demonstrating the existence of a unique clonal phenotype with enhanced chondrogenic potential.

Conclusions: Porcine stem cells demonstrate characteristics similar to those in human-derived mesenchymal stromal cells from the same sources. Synovial fluid-derived stem cells contain an inherent phenotype that may be optimal for cartilage repair. This must be more fully investigated for future use in the in vivo tissue-engineered construct approach in this physiologically relevant preclinical porcine model.

Keywords: chondrogenesis; mesenchymal stromal cells; porcine; synovial fluid; synovium.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone Marrow Cells / cytology
  • Cell Differentiation / genetics*
  • Cell Lineage
  • Chondrogenesis / genetics
  • Humans
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Swine
  • Synovial Fluid / cytology