Comparative analysis of human mesenchymal stem cells from bone marrow and adipose tissue under xeno-free conditions for cell therapy

Stem Cell Res Ther. 2015 Apr 13;6(1):55. doi: 10.1186/s13287-015-0066-5.


Introduction: Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are promising candidates for cell-based therapies. Human platelet lysate represents an efficient alternative to fetal bovine serum for clinical-scale expansion of MSCs. Different media used in culture processes should maintain the biological characteristics of MSCs during multiple passages. However, bone marrow-derived MSCs and adipose tissue-derived MSCs have not yet been directly compared with each other under human platelet lysate conditions. This study aims to conduct a direct head-to-head comparison of the biological characteristics of the two types of MSCs under human platelet lysate-supplemented culture conditions for their ability to be used in regenerative medicine applications.

Methods: The bone marrow- and adipose tissue-derived MSCs were cultured under human platelet lysate conditions and their biological characteristics evaluated for cell therapy (morphology, immunophenotype, colony-forming unit-fibroblast efficiency, proliferation capacity, potential for mesodermal differentiation, secreted proteins, and immunomodulatory effects).

Results: Under human platelet lysate-supplemented culture conditions, bone marrow- and adipose tissue-derived MSCs exhibited similar fibroblast-like morphology and expression patterns of surface markers. Adipose tissue-derived MSCs had greater proliferative potential than bone marrow-derived MSCs, while no significantly difference in colony efficiency were observed between the two types of cells. However, bone marrow-derived MSCs possessed higher capacity toward osteogenic and chondrogenic differentiation compared with adipose tissue-derived MSCs, while similar adipogenic differentiation potential wase observed between the two types of cells. There were some differences between bone marrow- and adipose tissue-derived MSCs for several secreted proteins, such as cytokine (interferon-γ), growth factors (basic fibroblast growth factor, hepatocyte growth factor, and insulin-like growth factor-1), and chemokine (stem cell-derived factor-1). Adipose tissue-derived MSCs had more potent immunomodulatory effects than bone marrow-derived MSCs.

Conclusions: Adipose tissue-derived MSCs have biological advantages in the proliferative capacity, secreted proteins (basic fibroblast growth factor, interferon-γ, and insulin-like growth factor-1), and immunomodulatory effects, but bone marrow-derived MSCs have advantages in osteogenic and chondrogenic differentiation potential and secreted proteins (stem cell-derived factor-1 and hepatocyte growth factor); these biological advantages should be considered systematically when choosing the MSC source for specific clinical application.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / cytology*
  • Antigens, CD / metabolism
  • Blood Platelets / metabolism
  • Bone Marrow Cells / cytology*
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Cell- and Tissue-Based Therapy
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chemokine CXCL12 / analysis
  • Cytokines / analysis
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 2 / analysis
  • Hepatocyte Growth Factor / analysis
  • Humans
  • Immunophenotyping
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / analysis
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Mesoderm / cytology


  • Antigens, CD
  • Chemokine CXCL12
  • Cytokines
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 2
  • Hepatocyte Growth Factor
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I