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A Self-renewing Multi-potent Population of Cells and their Progeny Maintain Homeostasis of the Mesenchymal Compartment

Recent evidence suggests that “mesenchymal stem cells” (MSCs) are resident in the perivascular compartment of connective tissues. However, since the definition of a stem cell assumes that these progenitors have clonal self-renewal and multi-lineage differentiation potential, the term “MSC” has been criticised, as it has been impossible to isolate definitive clonally derived “MSCs.” To test for this most basic definition of a stem cell, here it is shown that human umbilical cord perivascular cells (HUCPVCs) are capable of multilineage differentiation in vitro and, more importantly, in vivo, displaying the ability to differentiate into functionally synthetic cells that direct and contribute to rapid connective tissue healing by producing bone, cartilage and fibrous stroma in a mouse injury model. Uniquely, these cells can be enriched to >1:3 clonogenic frequency in early passage culture, making it possible to isolate clones and daughter sub-clones from mixed gender suspensions, determined to be definitively single-cell-derived by Y-chromosome fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) analysis. Each clone was assayed for multi-lineage differentiation capacity into the five mesenchymal lineages: myogenic, adipogenic, chondrogenic, osteogenic and fibroblastic (stroma). The observation that daughter sub-clones possess equal or lesser differentiative potential to their respective parent clones demonstrated the two intrinsic properties of stem cells in vitro: clonal self-renewal and multi-lineage differentiation. This evidence provides a new hierarchical structure of robust MSCs self-renewing to produce more restricted progenitors that gradually lose differentiation potential until a state of complete restriction to the fibroblast is reached. The methods described herein combined with recognition of this lineage hierarchy provides a significant advance to the understanding of MSC biology, and will enable interrogation of the properties of robust self-renewal and differentiation of MSCs in serially transplanted living recipients.
Date01 August 2008
CreatorsSarugaser, Rahul
ContributorsStanford, William L., Davies, John Edward
Source SetsUniversity of Toronto
Detected LanguageEnglish
Format3318229 bytes, application/pdf

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