Mesenchymal Stem Cells pp 93-107
Differentiation and Characterization of Human MSCs
One of the hallmark characteristics of human MSCs (hMSCs) is their ability to differentiate into adipocytes, chondrocytes and osteocytes in culture. The default fate for hMSCs appears to be bone: if late-passage cultures are left in basic culture medium, the hMSCs will become confluent and produce mineral, an indication of bone formation. However, when grown under certain culture conditions or in media containing specific components, the cells can be driven to become a number of other specific cell types including neural cells, myocytes, and cardiomyocytes. The protocols given here are the basic differentiation procedures for inducing osteogenesis, adipogenesis, and chondrogenesis in cultures of hMSCs. Although there is still no clear consensus on the antigen expression pattern that will define hMSCs, a protocol is also presented for the flow cytometric analysis using a series of antibody panels. The analysis of these surface epitope patterns can aide in the isolation and characterization of hMSCs.
KeywordsMSCs differentiation surface epitopes culture stem cells multipotential characterization