Investigation of stemness and multipotency of equine adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (ASCs) from different fat sources in comparison with lipoma.
BACKGROUND:Adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells (ASCs) offer a promising cell source for therapeutic applications in musculoskeletal disorders. The appropriate selection of ASCs from various fat depots for cell-based therapy is challenging. The present study aims to compare stemness and multipotency of ASCs derived from retroperitoneal (RP), subcutaneous (SC), and lipoma (LP) fat to assess their usefulness for clinical application. METHODS:Equine ASCs from the three fat tissue sources were isolated and characterized. The cell viability, proliferation, and self-renewal were evaluated using MTT, sulforhodamine B, and colony forming unit (CFU) assays. Stem cell relative marker CD44, CD90, and CD105 and tumor marker CA9 and osteopontin (OPN) expression were quantified using RT-qPCR. Multipotency of ASCs for adipogenic, osteogenic, and chondrogenic differentiation was examined by quantifying Oil Red O and Alizarin Red S staining, alkaline phosphatase activity (ALP), and expression of differentiation relative markers. All data were statistically analyzed using ANOVA. RESULTS:RP fat-derived ASCs showed a higher cell proliferation rate compared to SC and LP derived cells. In contrast, ASCs from lipoma displayed a lower proliferation rate and impaired CFU capacities. The expression of CD44, CD90, and CD105 was upregulated in RP and SC derived cells but not in LP cells. RP fat-derived cells displayed a higher adipogenic potential compared to SC and LP cells. Although ASCs from all fat sources showed enhanced ALP activity following osteogenic differentiation, SC fat-derived cells revealed upregulated ALP and bone morphogenetic protein-2 expression together with a higher calcium deposition. We found an enhanced chondrogenic potency of RP and SC fat-derived cells as shown by Alcian blue staining and upregulation of aggrecan (Aggre), cartilage oligomeric matrix protein precursor (COMP), and collagen 2a1 (Col2a1) expression compared to LP. The expression of OPN and CA9 was exclusively upregulated in the ASCs of LP. CONCLUSIONS:The results provide evidence of variation in ASC performance not only between normal fat depots but also compared to LP cells which suggest a different molecular regulation controlling the cell fate. These data provided are useful when considering a source for cell replacement therapy in equine veterinary medicine.