Comparison of human isogeneic Wharton's jelly MSCs and iPSC-derived MSCs reveals differentiation-dependent metabolic responses to IFNG stimulation

Cell Death Dis. 2019 Mar 20;10(4):277. doi: 10.1038/s41419-019-1498-0.


Variability among donors, non-standardized methods for isolation, and characterization contribute to mesenchymal stem/stromal cell (MSC) heterogeneity. Induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSCs)-derived MSCs would circumvent many of current issues and enable large-scale production of standardized cellular therapy. To explore differences between native MSCs (nMSCs) and iPSC-derived MSCs (iMSCs), we developed isogeneic lines from Wharton's jelly (WJ) from the umbilical cords of two donors (#12 and #13) under xeno-free conditions. Next, we reprogrammed them into iPSCs (iPSC12 and iPSC13) and subsequently differentiated them back into iMSCs (iMSC12 and iMSC13) using two different protocols, which we named ARG and TEX. We assessed their differentiation capability, transcriptome, immunomodulatory potential, and interferon-γ (IFNG)-induced changes in metabolome. Our data demonstrated that although both differentiation protocols yield iMSCs similar to their parental nMSCs, there are substantial differences. The ARG protocol resulted in iMSCs with a strong immunomodulatory potential and lower plasticity and proliferation rate, whereas the TEX protocol raised iMSCs with a higher proliferation rate, better differentiation potential, though weak immunomodulatory response. Our data suggest that, following a careful selection and screening of donors, nMSCs from umbilical's cord WJ can be easily reprogrammed into iPSCs, providing an unlimited source of material for differentiation into iMSCs. However, the differentiation protocol should be chosen depending on their clinical use.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Differentiation / physiology*
  • Cell Plasticity
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cellular Reprogramming / physiology*
  • Cellular Reprogramming Techniques / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells / metabolism*
  • Interferon-gamma / pharmacology*
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / metabolism*
  • Metabolome / drug effects*
  • Transcriptome / drug effects
  • Umbilical Cord / cytology*


  • IFNG protein, human
  • Interferon-gamma