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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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Stem Cells 2016 Apr;34(4):935-47

High content imaging of early morphological signatures predicts long term mineralization capacity of human mesenchymal stem cells upon osteogenic induction.

Marklein RA, Lo Surdo JL, Bellayr IH, Godil SA, Puri RK, Bauer SR


Human bone marrow-derived multipotent mesenchymal stromal cells, often referred to as MSCs, represent an attractive cell source for many regenerative medicine applications due to their potential for multi-lineage differentiation, immunomodulation, and paracrine factor secretion. A major complication for current MSC-based therapies is the lack of well-defined characterization methods that can robustly predict how they will perform in a particular in vitro or in vivo setting. Significant advances have been made with identifying molecular markers of MSC quality and potency using multivariate genomic and proteomic approaches, and more recently with advanced techniques incorporating high content imaging to assess high-dimensional single cell morphological data. We sought to expand upon current methods of high dimensional morphological analysis by investigating whether short term cell and nuclear morphological profiles of MSCs from multiple donors (at multiple passages) correlated with long term mineralization upon osteogenic induction. Using the combined power of automated high content imaging followed by automated image analysis, we demonstrated that MSC morphology after 3 days was highly correlated with 35 day mineralization and comparable to other methods of MSC osteogenesis assessment (such as alkaline phosphatase activity). We then expanded on this initial morphological characterization and identified morphological features that were highly predictive of mineralization capacities (>90% accuracy) of MSCs from additional donors and different manufacturing techniques using linear discriminant analysis. Together, this work thoroughly demonstrates the predictive power of MSC morphology for mineralization capacity and motivates further studies into MSC morphology as a predictive marker for additional in vitro and in vivo responses.

Category: Journal Article
PubMed ID: #26865267 DOI: 10.1002/stem.2322
Includes FDA Authors from Scientific Area(s): Biologics
Entry Created: 2016-02-19 Entry Last Modified: 2019-06-09