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      Comparison between adult and foetal adnexa derived equine post-natal mesenchymal stem cells

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          Little is known about the differences among adult and foetal equine mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), and no data exist about their comparative ultrastructural morphology. The aim of this study was to describe and compare characteristics, immune properties, and ultrastructural morphology of equine adult (bone marrow: BM, and adipose tissue: AT) and foetal adnexa derived (umbilical cord blood: UCB, and Wharton’s jelly: WJ) MSCs.


          No differences were observed in proliferation during the first 3 passages. While migration ability was similar among cells, foetal MSCs showed a higher adhesion ability, forming smaller spheroids after hanging drop culture ( P < 0.05). All MSCs differentiated toward adipogenic, chondrogenic and osteogenic lineages, only tenogenic differentiation was less evident for WJ-MSCs. Data obtained by PCR confirmed MHC1 expression and lack of MHC2 expression in all four cell types. Foetal adnexa MSCs were positive for genes specific for anti-inflammatory and angiogenic factors (IL6, IL8, ILβ1) and WJ-MSCs were the only positive for OCT4 pluripotency gene. At immunofluorescence all cells expressed typical mesenchymal markers (α-SMA, N-cadherin), except for BM-MSCs, which did not express N-cadherin. By transmission electron microscopy, it was observed that WJ-MSCs had a higher ( P < 0.05) number of microvesicles compared to adult MSCs, and UCB-MSCs showed more microvesicles than BM-MSCs ( P < 0.05). AT-MSCs had a lower number of mitochondria than WJ-MSCs ( P < 0.05), and mitochondrial area was higher for WJ-MSCs compared to UCB and AT-MSCs ( P < 0.05).


          Results demonstrate that MSCs from adult and foetal tissues have different characteristics, and foetal MSCs, particularly WJ derived ones, seem to have some charactestics that warrant further investigation into potential advantages for clinical application.

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          Most cited references 56

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          Minimal criteria for defining multipotent mesenchymal stromal cells. The International Society for Cellular Therapy position statement.

          The considerable therapeutic potential of human multipotent mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) has generated markedly increasing interest in a wide variety of biomedical disciplines. However, investigators report studies of MSC using different methods of isolation and expansion, and different approaches to characterizing the cells. Thus it is increasingly difficult to compare and contrast study outcomes, which hinders progress in the field. To begin to address this issue, the Mesenchymal and Tissue Stem Cell Committee of the International Society for Cellular Therapy proposes minimal criteria to define human MSC. First, MSC must be plastic-adherent when maintained in standard culture conditions. Second, MSC must express CD105, CD73 and CD90, and lack expression of CD45, CD34, CD14 or CD11b, CD79alpha or CD19 and HLA-DR surface molecules. Third, MSC must differentiate to osteoblasts, adipocytes and chondroblasts in vitro. While these criteria will probably require modification as new knowledge unfolds, we believe this minimal set of standard criteria will foster a more uniform characterization of MSC and facilitate the exchange of data among investigators.
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            Comparative analysis of mesenchymal stem cells from bone marrow, umbilical cord blood, or adipose tissue.

            Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) represent a promising tool for new clinical concepts in supporting cellular therapy. Bone marrow (BM) was the first source reported to contain MSCs. However, for clinical use, BM may be detrimental due to the highly invasive donation procedure and the decline in MSC number and differentiation potential with increasing age. More recently, umbilical cord blood (UCB), attainable by a less invasive method, was introduced as an alternative source for MSCs. Another promising source is adipose tissue (AT). We compared MSCs derived from these sources regarding morphology, the success rate of isolating MSCs, colony frequency, expansion potential, multiple differentiation capacity, and immune phenotype. No significant differences concerning the morphology and immune phenotype of the MSCs derived from these sources were obvious. Differences could be observed concerning the success rate of isolating MSCs, which was 100% for BM and AT, but only 63% for UCB. The colony frequency was lowest in UCB, whereas it was highest in AT. However, UCB-MSCs could be cultured longest and showed the highest proliferation capacity, whereas BM-MSCs possessed the shortest culture period and the lowest proliferation capacity. Most strikingly, UCB-MSCs showed no adipogenic differentiation capacity, in contrast to BM- and AT-MSCs. Both UCB and AT are attractive alternatives to BM in isolating MSC: AT as it contains MSCs at the highest frequency and UCB as it seems to be expandable to higher numbers.
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              Biomarkers for epithelial-mesenchymal transitions.

              Somatic cells that change from one mature phenotype to another exhibit the property of plasticity. It is increasingly clear that epithelial and endothelial cells enjoy some of this plasticity, which is easily demonstrated by studying the process of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Published reports from the literature typically rely on ad hoc criteria for determining EMT events; consequently, there is some uncertainty as to whether the same process occurs under different experimental conditions. As we discuss in this Personal Perspective, we believe that context and various changes in plasticity biomarkers can help identify at least three types of EMT and that using a collection of criteria for EMT increases the likelihood that everyone is studying the same phenomenon - namely, the transition of epithelial and endothelial cells to a motile phenotype.

                Author and article information

                BMC Vet Res
                BMC Vet. Res
                BMC Veterinary Research
                BioMed Central (London )
                2 August 2019
                2 August 2019
                : 15
                [1 ]ISNI 0000 0004 1757 1758, GRID grid.6292.f, Department of Veterinary Medical Sciences, , University of Bologna, ; via Tolara di Sopra 50, 40064 Ozzano Emilia, BO Italy
                [2 ]ISNI 0000 0004 1757 1758, GRID grid.6292.f, Department for Biomedical and Neuromotor Sciences, , University of Bologna, ; Bologna, Italy
                [3 ]ISNI 0000 0001 2230 9752, GRID grid.9647.c, Saxon Incubator for Clinical Translation, , University of Leipzig, ; Leipzig, Germany
                [4 ]ISNI 0000 0001 2165 8627, GRID grid.8664.c, Equine Clinic (Surgery), , Justus Liebig University Giessen, ; Giessen, Germany
                [5 ]ISNI 0000 0001 2202 794X, GRID grid.17083.3d, Department of Comparative Biomedical Sciences, , University of Teramo, ; Teramo, Italy
                [6 ]ISNI 0000 0004 1757 1758, GRID grid.6292.f, Health Science and Technologies Interdepartmental Center for Industrial Research (HST-ICIR), , University of Bologna, ; Bologna, Italy
                © The Author(s). 2019

                Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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