Background aims: Bone marrow (BM) multipotent mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) hold great potential for cell-based regenerative medicine. Because of the growing use of autologous rat MSC transplantation in various rat models, there is a need to establish minimal criteria for rat MSC characterization independent of the specific strain employed in each study. We aimed to compare the phenotypic and functional traits of BM MSC from the four strains of rats commonly used in research: Fisher, Lewis, Sprague-Dawley and Wistar. Methods: Rat MSC were isolated from the BM of the four different rat strains in an identical fashion. Cells were characterized for their cell-surface phenotype in early and late passage. Functional mesenchymal differentiation capacities were examined following adipogenic and osteogenic inductions. Population doubling times were determined across the four strains throughout 10 passages. In vitro proliferation assays of immune cells were conducted following co-culture of spleen cells and MSC of the four different strains. Results: We found that rat MSC from different strains exhibited similar cell-surface phenotype. Expansion rates and differentiation capacities of the MSC were also similar across the different strains. Co-culture of rat MSC with spleen cells obtained from rats of a different strain did not induce proliferation of immune cells. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that BM-derived MSC from different strains share similar characteristics, in contrast to the variations previously described in the characterization of mice MSC from different strains.
- Mesenchymal stromal cells