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Open AccessArticle

Impact of Serum Source on Human Mesenchymal Stem Cell Osteogenic Differentiation in Culture

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Wolfson Centre for Stem Cells, Tissue Engineering and Modelling (STEM), School of Medicine, University of Nottingham, Nottingham NG7 2RD, UK
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Advanced Materials Group, Faculty of Engineering, The University of Nottingham, Nottingham NG7 2RD, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(20), 5051; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20205051 (registering DOI)
Received: 1 September 2019 / Revised: 5 October 2019 / Accepted: 8 October 2019 / Published: 11 October 2019
Human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) show promise for musculoskeletal repair applications. Animal-derived serum is extensively used for MSC culture as a source of nutrients, extracellular matrix proteins and growth factors. However, the routine use of fetal calf serum (FCS) is not innocuous due to its animal antigens and ill-defined composition, driving the development of alternatives protocols. The present study sought to reduce exposure to FCS via the transient use of human serum. Transient exposure to animal serum had previously proved successful for the osteogenic differentiation of MSCs but had not yet been tested with alternative serum sources. Here, human serum was used to support the proliferation of MSCs, which retained surface marker expression and presented higher alkaline phosphatase activity than those in FCS-based medium. Addition of osteogenic supplements supported strong mineralisation over a 3-week treatment. When limiting serum exposure to the first five days of treatment, MSCs achieved higher differentiation with human serum than with FCS. Finally, human serum analysis revealed significantly higher levels of osteogenic components such as alkaline phosphatase and 25-Hydroxyvitamin D, consistent with the enhanced osteogenic effect. These results indicate that human serum used at the start of the culture offers an efficient replacement for continuous FCS treatment and could enable short-term exposure to patient-derived serum in the future. View Full-Text
Keywords: Mesenchymal stem cells; human serum; fetal calf serum; in vitro differentiation; osteogenic culture Mesenchymal stem cells; human serum; fetal calf serum; in vitro differentiation; osteogenic culture
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Popov, A.; Scotchford, C.; Grant, D.; Sottile, V. Impact of Serum Source on Human Mesenchymal Stem Cell Osteogenic Differentiation in Culture. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20, 5051.

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