Selection using the alpha-1 integrin (CD49a) enhances the multipotentiality of the mesenchymal stem cell population from heterogeneous bone marrow stromal cells
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Bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells consist of a developmentally heterogeneous population of cells obtained from colony forming progenitors. As these colonies express the alpha-1 integrin (CD49a), here we single-cell FACS sorted CD49a+ cells from bone marrow in order to create clones and then compared their colony forming efficiency and multilineage differentiation capacity to the unsorted cells. Following selection, 40% of the sorted CD49a+ cells formed colonies, whereas parental cells failed to form colonies following limited dilution plating at 1 cell/well. Following ex vivo expansion, clones shared a similar morphology to the parental cell line, and also demonstrated enhanced proliferation. Further analysis by flow cytometry using a panel of multilineage markers demonstrated that the CD49a+ clones had enhanced expression of CD90 and CD105 compared to unsorted cells. Culturing cells in adipogenic, osteogenic or chondrogenic medium for 7, 10 and 15 days respectively and then analysing them by quantitative PCR demonstrated that CD49a+ clones readily underwent multlineage differentiation into fat, bone and cartilage compared to unsorted cells. These results thus support the use of CD49a selection for the enrichment of mesenchymal stem cells, and describes a strategy for selecting the most multipotential cells from a heterogeneous pool of bone marrow mononuclear stem cells.
KeywordsCD49a selection Mesenchymal stem cells Multipotentiality
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