Clinical applications of mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) require the manufacture of large cell lots, which involves multiple passages for cell expansion and sometimes genetic modification. MSCs from various sources, including bone marrow (BM), exhibit high donor-to-donor variability in their growth characteristics. This can lead to unpredictable manufacturing outcomes with respect to success or failure of individual lots. Early determination of lot success has the potential to reduce the cost and improve the efficiency of the MSC manufacturing process. However, methods that effectively predict lot growth potential early in the manufacturing process are currently lacking. Here we report that the growth potential of an MSC lot can be predicted a few days after BM plating based on α-smooth muscle actin (αSMA) protein expression in large colony-forming unit-fibroblast (CFU-f) colonies. The proposed prediction method could be a useful tool to prospectively determine MSC lot success or failure.
Keywords: Assay; Colony-forming units-fibroblast (CFU-f); Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs); α-Smooth muscle actin (αSMA).