Aim: Umbilical cord contains, within Wharton's jelly (WJ), multipotent mesenchymal stromal/stem cells (MSCs) of fetal origin that can be isolated and expanded in vitro with a minimal manipulation and very high efficiency. Our aim was to develop a highly reproducible protocol that has the unique potential to be scaled up and adapted to cGMP requirements for the use in cellular therapy.
Results: We found that derivation of WJ MSCs under defined conditions in low oxygen resulted in several folds higher populations of MSCA-1+ cells (6.0-19.2%) when compared with WJ MSCs derived in the presence of serum (0.1-2.8%) or clinical-grade bone marrow (BM) MSCs cultured under atmospheric O2 (20%). We demonstrate that WJ MSCs derived following our protocol display antiproliferative activity similar to clinical-grade BM MSCs. We also show that these WJ MSCs can be differentiated into adipo-, chondro- and osteo-genic lineages.
Conclusion: Easy accessibility, abundance and genetic 'naivety' make WJ MSCs logistically a more attractive source for clinical applications than BM MSCs.
- animal product-free culture
- chemically defined condition
- mesenchymal stem cell
- mesenchymal stromal cell
- umbilical cord
- Wharton's jelly