The Influence of Donor Age and In Vitro Expansion on the Proliferation and Differentiation Properties of Donor-matched Bone Marrow and Adipose-derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells: Implications for Musculoskeletal Tissue Engineering

  • Kimberley Burrow

    Student thesis: Phd


    Introduction: Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) offer a novel cell therapy within tissue engineering and regenerative medicine (TERM)-based strategies, and the prospect of MSC therapies are widening since the discovery of MSCs within multiple locations of the body including bone marrow (BM-MSCs) and adipose tissue, (AD-MSCs). It is highly recognised that an organisms reparative and regenerative potential declines with advancing age, therefore aged patients are one of the primary target populations for TERM applications. Although information is available regarding the effects of patient age on the quality of human BM-MSCs, little and conflicting information currently exists for AD-MSCs. In addition, few studies have compared the quality of freshly isolated and expanded donor-matched BM and AD-MSCs to elucidate the more appropriate cell source. This study investigated the effect of donor age and in vitro ageing on functional behaviour (i.e. senescence state, population kinetics and differentiation potential) of donor-matched BM and AD-MSCs.Methods: The influence of donor age and in vitro ageing on mature (28-55 years) and elderly (75-86 years) donor-matched BM and AD-MSCs was assessed upon isolation (early life-span) and during extended (mid and late lifespan) timepoints through culture. During culture MSCs were characterised for cumulative population doublings (CPDs) and the expression of senescence associated marker genes, p16INK4A, p21 and p53, and transcription factor NANOG. At each lifespan telomere length was assessed along with differentiation efficiency along the osteogenic, adipogenic and chondrogenic lineages through lineage specific marker genes and histological staining.Results: Elderly BM and AD-MSCs displayed similar characteristics in terms of initial CPD number, p21, p53 and NANOG expression, telomere length and differentiation along osteogenic and adipogenic lineages. With increasing donor age there was a significant decline in p16INK4A expression within BM-MSCs, whilst expression of all chondrogenic markers significantly decreased within AD-MSCs. BM and AD-MSCs were comparable for the majority of outcome measures with the exception of chondrogenic differentiation which was superior with BM-MSCs in terms of COL2A1 expression and histological staining for proteoglycans. Donor age had a negative effect on BM-MSCs with long-term culture leading to a significantly longer PD time and decreased telomere lengths. Similar population kinetics was displayed between BM and AD-MSCs during long-term culture. Increasing culture time had effects on differentiation potential for both MSC sources with complete loss of osteogenic capacity and decreased adipogenic capacity; however chondrogenic capacity was only decreased within AD-MSCs. Differentiation potential after long-term culture between BM and AD-MSCs showed similar osteogenic and adipogenic ability yet superior chondrogenic ability was apparent within mature BM-MSCs compared to AD-MSCs, in terms of ECM deposition.Conclusions: In conclusion the source of MSCs for TERM will need to be considered depending upon the type of tissue regeneration required. The clinical outcome would be greater using MSCs during early stages of culture, as culture expansion has detrimental effects on functional properties of both BM and AD-MSCs.
    Date of Award1 Aug 2015
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • The University of Manchester
    SupervisorJudith Hoyland (Supervisor) & Stephen Richardson (Supervisor)


    • Mesenchymal stem cell
    • Senescence
    • Musculoskeletal tissue engineering
    • Ageing

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