Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are safe, and they have good therapeutic efficacy through their paracrine action. However, long-term culture to produce sufficient MSCs for clinical use can result in side-effects, such as an inevitable senescence and the reduction of the therapeutic efficacy of the MSCs. In order to overcome this, the primary culture conditions of the MSCs can be modified to simulate the stem cells' niche environment, resulting in accelerated proliferation, the achievement of the target production yield at earlier passages, and the improvement of the therapeutic efficacy. We exposed Wharton's jelly-derived MSCs (WJ-MSCs) to pressure stimuli during the primary culture step. In order to evaluate the proliferation, stemness, and therapeutic efficacy of WJ-MSCs, image, genetic, and Western blot analyses were carried out. Compared with standard incubation culture conditions, the cell proliferation was significantly improved when the WJ-MSCs were exposed to pressure stimuli. However, the therapeutic efficacy (the promotion of cell proliferation and anti-apoptotic effects) and the stemness of the WJ-MSCs was maintained, regardless of the culture conditions. Exposure to pressure stimuli is a simple and efficient way to improve WJ-MSC proliferation without causing changes in stemness and therapeutic efficacy. In this way, clinical-grade WJ-MSCs can be produced rapidly and used for therapeutic applications.
Keywords: Wharton’s jelly-derived mesenchymal stem cells; hypoxia; physical force; pressure; proliferation.