Phenotypic changes of adult porcine mesenchymal stem cells induced by prolonged passaging in culture

Victor Vacanti, Elton Kong, Gen Suzuki, Kazuki Sato, John M. Canty, Techung Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

241 Citations (Scopus)


The in vitro culture of porcine bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) was used for the investigation of adult stem cell biology. Isolated porcine MSCs possessed the ability to proliferate extensively in an antioxidants-rich medium containing 5% fetal bovine serum (FBS). Greater than 40 serial MSC passages and 100 cell population doublings have been recorded for some MSC batches. Early and late passage MSCs were defined here as those cultures receiving less than 5 trypsin passages and more than 15 trypsin passages, respectively. Consistent with their robust ability to proliferate, both the early and late passage MSCs expressed the cell-cycle promoting enzyme p34cdc2 kinase. Late MSCs, however, exhibited certain features reminiscent of cellular aging such as actin accumulation, reduced substrate adherence, and increased activity of lysosomal acid β-galactosidase. Early MSCs retained the multipotentiality capable of chondrogenic, osteogenic, and adipogenic differentiation upon induction in vitro. In contrast, late MSCs were only capable of adipogenic differentiation, which was greatly enhanced at the expense of the osteochondrogenic potential. Along with these changes in multipotentiality, late MSCs expressed decreased levels of the bone morphogenic protein (BMP-7) and reduced activity of alkaline phosphatase. Late MSCs also exhibited attenuated synthesis of the hematopoietic cytokines granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF), leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF), and stem cell factor (SCF). The long-term porcine MSC culture, thus, provides a model system to study the molecular interplay between multiple MSC differentiation cascades in the context of cellular aging.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)194-201
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Cellular Physiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Nov

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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