We’ve written a lot about the problem of serum use in clinical-grade cell culture. Today, I’d like to share more data and ask to express your opinion on this matter in our poll.
Use of serum and substitutes for ex vivo expansion of mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) is a very hot topic. There are a lot of studies and protocols. Despite the fact that animal serum is not prohibited for clinical cultures, the development of commercial chemically-defined media for MSC is booming. Unfortunately, currently, there is no consensus on the optimal growth medium for MSC. Also, we are still lacking good comparative studies, which could analyze different kind of sera or serum versus artificial substitutes.
The considerations, which should be taken in account:
- pathogen safety
- MSC growth dynamics and quality
- availability and cost
One of the recent studies has compared effects of different sera on adipose-derived MSC. They compared fetal calf serum (FCS), pretested fetal calf serum (FCS-Sp), human allogeneic serum (HS) or artificial serum substitute (AS):
We found that MSCs cultivated in the presence of different sera had similar global proteomic expression patterns, but comparisons of identified proteins revealed most differences in the MSCs cultivated with AS. Our results indicate that MSCs cultivated in the presence of FCS and HS display similar growth, differentiation, immunophenotypic and proteomic properties, while AS induces more profound changes in the physiology of MSCs, suggesting that further fundamental studies should be done before its introduction into clinical practice.
Sunghoon Jung comprehensively reviewed all pros and cons of defined serum-free media for clinical MSC culture. The authors currently doing a comparative study:
We have recently initiated a study to compare these commercial media along with other existing media. The media under investigation include Mesencult-XF (STEMCELL Technologies), StemPro MSC SFM Xeno-Free (Invitrogen), MSCGM-CD (Lonza), PPRF-msc6, and DMEM +10% FBS (Lonza). Our initial data show that the performance of the commercial hMSC media on the attachment and growth of primary BM-hMSCs is questionable and thus should be open to discussion.
It seem to me, that we still don’t have a good chemically-defined commercial serum substitutes/ media.
Now, I’d like to ask you: What is the best alternative to animal serum in clinical MSC expansion? Please vote in the poll:
For more information about humanized alternatives of animal serum, you can look at here.
PS: If you can not see a poll embedded in this post, follow the direct link.
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