Culture expansion induces non-tumorigenic aneuploidy in adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stromal cells

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Background aims. Adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stromal cells (ASCs) are of interest as a cell therapeutic agent for immunologic and degenerative diseases. During in vitro expansion, ASCs may be at risk for genetic alterations, and genetic screening is a prerequisite. We examined the presence of aneuploidy in ASCs and its origin and development during culture and evaluated the implications of aneuploidy for therapeutic use of ASCs. Methods. Adipose tissue of healthy individuals was used for isolation and expansion of ASCs. Chromosome copy numbers were studied using fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis. Aneuploidy was studied in freshly isolated ASCs, in ASCs cultured for 0-16 passages and in senescent cultures. To evaluate the plasticity of ploidy, ASCs were cloned, and the variation of ploidy in the clones was examined. Tumorigenicity was studied by subcutaneous injection of aneuploid ASCs in immunodeficient NOD/SCID mice. Results. No aneuploidy was detected in freshly isolated ASCs. In low passages (passages 0-4), aneuploidy was detected in 3.4% of ASCs. Prolonged culture expansion of ASCs (passages 5-16) resulted in a significant increase of aneuploidy to 7.1%. With senescence, aneuploidy increased further to 19.8%. Aneuploidy was observed in clones of diploid ASCs, demonstrating the de novo development of aneuploidy. No transformation of ASCs was observed, and in contrast to cancer cell lines, aneuploid ASCs were incapable of tumor formation in immunodeficient mice. Conclusions. ASC cultures contain a stable percentage of aneuploid cells. Aneuploidy was not a predecessor of transformation or tumor formation. This finding indicates that aneuploidy is culture-induced but unlikely to compromise clinical application of ASCs.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)1352-1361
Number of pages10
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Research programs

  • EMC MGC-02-96-01
  • EMC MM-04-20-01
  • EMC MM-04-39-05
  • EMC MM-04-47-07

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