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Bone Marrow Mesenchymal Stem Cells From Healthy Donors and Sporadic Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Patients

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Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease lacking effective therapies. Cell replacement therapy has been suggested as a promising therapeutic approach for multiple neurodegenerative diseases, including motor neuron disease. We analyzed expanded mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) isolated from sporadic ALS patients and compared them with MSCs isolated from healthy donors. MSCs were isolated from bone marrow by Percoll gradient and maintained in culture in MSC Medium until the third passage. Growth kinetics, immunophenotype, telomere length, and karyotype were evaluated during in vitro expansion. Osteogenic, adipogenic, chondrogenic, and neurogenic differentiation potential were also evaluated. No morphological differences were observed in the MSCs isolated from donors or patients. The cellular expansion potential of MSCs from donors and patients was slightly different. After three passages, the MSCs isolated from donors reached a cumulative population doubling higher than from patients but the difference was not statistically significant. No significant differences between donors or patients were observed in the immunophenotype analysis. No chromosomal alteration or evidence of cellular senescence was observed in any samples. Both donor and patient MSCs, after exposure to specific conditioning media, differentiated into adipocytes, osteoblasts, chondrocytes, and neuron-like cells. These results suggest that extensive in vitro expansion of patient MSCs does not involve any functional modification of the cells, including chromosomal alterations or cellular senescence. Hence, there is a good chance that MSCs might be used as a cell-based therapy for ALS patients.

Keywords: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; Cellular therapy; In vitro expansion; Mesenchymal stem cells

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2008-03-01

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  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.
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