PLoS ONE, 2015, Vol.10(3)
Introduction Current clinical trials utilize mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) expanded in culture, however these interventions carry considerable costs and concerns pertaining to culture-induced losses of potency. This study assessed the feasibility of new clinical-grade technology to obtain uncultured MSC isolates from three human intra-osseous tissue sources based on immunomagnetic selection for CD271-positive cells. Materials and Methods MSCs were isolated from bone marrow (BM) aspirates or surgical waste materials; enzymatically digested femoral heads (FHs) and reamer irrigator aspirator (RIA) waste fluids. Flow cytometry for the CD45 −/low CD73 + CD271 + phenotype was used to evaluate uncultured MSCs before and after selection, and to measure MSC enrichment in parallel to colony forming-unit fibroblast assay. Trilineage differentiation assays and quantitative polymerase chain-reaction for key transcripts involved in bone regeneration was used to assess the functional utility of isolated cells for bone repair. Results Uncultured CD45 −/low CD271 + MSCs uniformly expressed CD73, CD90 and CD105 but showed variable expression of MSCA-1 and SUSD2 (BM〉RIA〉FH). MSCs were enriched over 150-fold from BM aspirates and RIA fluids, whereas the highest MSC purities were obtained from FH digests. Enriched fractions expressed increased levels of BMP-2, COL1A2, VEGFC, SPARC and CXCL12 transcripts (BM〉RIA〉FH), with the highest up-regulation detected for CXCL12 in BM (〉1300-fold). Following culture expansion, CD271-selected MSCS were tri-potential and phenotypically identical to plastic adherence-selected MSCs. Discussion A CD271-based GMP-compliant immunomagnetic selection resulted in a substantial increase in MSC purity and elevated expression of transcripts involved in bone formation, vascularisation and chemo-attraction. Although this technology, particularly from RIA fluids, can be immediately applied by orthopaedic surgeons as autologous therapy, further improvements in MSC purities and pre-clinical testing of product safety would be required to develop this process for allogeneic applications.