Does osteogenic potential of clonal human bone marrow mesenchymal stem/stromal cells correlate with their vascular supportive ability?
Merryweather-Clarke AT., Cook D., Lara BJ., Hua P., Repapi E., Ashley N., Lim SY., Watt SM.
BACKGROUND: Human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (hBM MSCs) have multiple functions, critical for skeletal formation and function. Their functional heterogeneity, however, represents a major challenge for their isolation and in developing potency and release assays to predict their functionality prior to transplantation. Additionally, potency, biomarker profiles and defining mechanisms of action in a particular clinical setting are increasing requirements of Regulatory Agencies for release of hBM MSCs as Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products for cellular therapies. Since the healing of bone fractures depends on the coupling of new blood vessel formation with osteogenesis, we hypothesised that a correlation between the osteogenic and vascular supportive potential of individual hBM MSC-derived CFU-F (colony forming unit-fibroblastoid) clones might exist. METHODS: We tested this by assessing the lineage (i.e. adipogenic (A), osteogenic (O) and/or chondrogenic (C)) potential of individual hBM MSC-derived CFU-F clones and determining if their osteogenic (O) potential correlated with their vascular supportive profile in vitro using lineage differentiation assays, endothelial-hBM MSC vascular co-culture assays and transcriptomic (RNAseq) analyses. RESULTS: Our results demonstrate that the majority of CFU-F (95%) possessed tri-lineage, bi-lineage or uni-lineage osteogenic capacity, with 64% of the CFU-F exhibiting tri-lineage AOC potential. We found a correlation between the osteogenic and vascular tubule supportive activity of CFU-F clones, with the strength of this association being donor dependent. RNAseq of individual clones defined gene fingerprints relevant to this correlation. CONCLUSIONS: This study identified a donor-dependent correlation between osteogenic and vascular supportive potential of hBM MSCs and important gene signatures that support these functions that are relevant to their bone regenerative properties.