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      Magnetically levitated mesenchymal stem cell spheroids cultured with a collagen gel maintain phenotype and quiescence

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          Abstract

          Multicellular spheroids are an established system for three-dimensional cell culture. Spheroids are typically generated using hanging drop or non-adherent culture; however, an emerging technique is to use magnetic levitation. Herein, mesenchymal stem cell spheroids were generated using magnetic nanoparticles and subsequently cultured within a type I collagen gel, with a view towards developing a bone marrow niche environment. Cells were loaded with magnetic nanoparticles, and suspended beneath an external magnet, inducing self-assembly of multicellular spheroids. Cells in spheroids were viable and compared to corresponding monolayer controls, maintained stem cell phenotype and were quiescent. Interestingly, core spheroid necrosis was not observed, even with increasing spheroid size, in contrast to other commonly used spheroid systems. This mesenchymal stem cell spheroid culture presents a potential platform for modelling in vitro bone marrow stem cell niches, elucidating interactions between cells, as well as a useful model for drug delivery studies.

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          Most cited references 37

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          Multilineage potential of adult human mesenchymal stem cells.

          Human mesenchymal stem cells are thought to be multipotent cells, which are present in adult marrow, that can replicate as undifferentiated cells and that have the potential to differentiate to lineages of mesenchymal tissues, including bone, cartilage, fat, tendon, muscle, and marrow stroma. Cells that have the characteristics of human mesenchymal stem cells were isolated from marrow aspirates of volunteer donors. These cells displayed a stable phenotype and remained as a monolayer in vitro. These adult stem cells could be induced to differentiate exclusively into the adipocytic, chondrocytic, or osteocytic lineages. Individual stem cells were identified that, when expanded to colonies, retained their multilineage potential.
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            Matrix elasticity directs stem cell lineage specification.

            Microenvironments appear important in stem cell lineage specification but can be difficult to adequately characterize or control with soft tissues. Naive mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are shown here to specify lineage and commit to phenotypes with extreme sensitivity to tissue-level elasticity. Soft matrices that mimic brain are neurogenic, stiffer matrices that mimic muscle are myogenic, and comparatively rigid matrices that mimic collagenous bone prove osteogenic. During the initial week in culture, reprogramming of these lineages is possible with addition of soluble induction factors, but after several weeks in culture, the cells commit to the lineage specified by matrix elasticity, consistent with the elasticity-insensitive commitment of differentiated cell types. Inhibition of nonmuscle myosin II blocks all elasticity-directed lineage specification-without strongly perturbing many other aspects of cell function and shape. The results have significant implications for understanding physical effects of the in vivo microenvironment and also for therapeutic uses of stem cells.
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              Mesenchymal and haematopoietic stem cells form a unique bone marrow niche.

              The cellular constituents forming the haematopoietic stem cell (HSC) niche in the bone marrow are unclear, with studies implicating osteoblasts, endothelial and perivascular cells. Here we demonstrate that mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), identified using nestin expression, constitute an essential HSC niche component. Nestin(+) MSCs contain all the bone-marrow colony-forming-unit fibroblastic activity and can be propagated as non-adherent 'mesenspheres' that can self-renew and expand in serial transplantations. Nestin(+) MSCs are spatially associated with HSCs and adrenergic nerve fibres, and highly express HSC maintenance genes. These genes, and others triggering osteoblastic differentiation, are selectively downregulated during enforced HSC mobilization or beta3 adrenoreceptor activation. Whereas parathormone administration doubles the number of bone marrow nestin(+) cells and favours their osteoblastic differentiation, in vivo nestin(+) cell depletion rapidly reduces HSC content in the bone marrow. Purified HSCs home near nestin(+) MSCs in the bone marrow of lethally irradiated mice, whereas in vivo nestin(+) cell depletion significantly reduces bone marrow homing of haematopoietic progenitors. These results uncover an unprecedented partnership between two distinct somatic stem-cell types and are indicative of a unique niche in the bone marrow made of heterotypic stem-cell pairs.
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                Author and article information

                Affiliations
                [1 ]Centre for Cell Engineering, Institute of Molecular, Cell and Systems Biology (IMCSB), The University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK
                [2 ]Electron Microscopy Unit, The University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK
                [3 ]Paul O’Gorman Leukaemia Research Centre, The University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK
                Author notes
                Natasha S Lewis, Centre for Cell Engineering, Institute of Molecular, Cell and Systems Biology (IMCSB), The University of Glasgow, Joseph Black Building, University Avenue, Glasgow G12 8QQ, UK. Email: n.lewis.1@ 123456research.gla.ac.uk
                Journal
                J Tissue Eng
                J Tissue Eng
                TEJ
                sptej
                Journal of Tissue Engineering
                SAGE Publications (Sage UK: London, England )
                2041-7314
                24 April 2017
                Jan-Dec 2017
                : 8
                10.1177_2041731417704428
                10.1177/2041731417704428
                5460809
                © The Author(s) 2017

                This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License ( http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page ( https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).

                Funding
                Funded by: Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, FundRef http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/501100000268;
                Award ID: WestBio DTP, BB/J013854/1
                Categories
                Special Issue Article
                Custom metadata
                January-December 2017

                Biomedical engineering

                niche, nanoparticles, bone marrow, spheroids, mesenchymal stem cells

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