Background aims: Human bone marrow mesenchymal stromal cells are useful in regenerative medicine for various diseases, but it remains unclear whether the aging of donors alters the multipotency of these cells. In this study, we examined age-related changes in the chondrogenic, osteogenic and adipogenic potential of mesenchymal stromal cells from 17 donors (25-81 years old), including patients with or without systemic vascular diseases. Methods: All stem cell lines were expanded with fibroblast growth factor-2 and then exposed to differentiation induction media. The chondrogenic potential was determined from the glycosaminoglycan content and the SOX9, collagen type 2 alpha 1 (COL2A1) and aggrecan (AGG) messenger RNA levels. The osteogenic potential was determined by monitoring the alkaline phosphatase activity and calcium content, and the adipogenic potential was determined from the glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase activity and oil red O staining. Results: Systemic vascular diseases, including arteriosclerosis obliterans and Buerger disease, did not significantly affect the trilineage differentiation potential of the cells. Under these conditions, all chondrocyte markers examined, including the SOX9 messenger RNA level, showed age-related decline, whereas none of the osteoblast or adipocyte markers showed age-dependent changes. Conclusions: The aging of donors from young adult to elderly selectively decreased the chondrogenic potential of mesenchymal stromal cells. This information will be useful in stromal cell-based therapy for cartilage-related diseases.
- Bone marrow
- Mesenchymal stromal cells