The impact of media supplement on the viability, proliferation, and differentiation potential of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells


Background: Bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (bmMSCs) are one of the most promising therapeutic methods in modern medicine. These cells are grown in tissue culture media, commonly supplemented with fetal bovine serum (FBS), but such supplement carries a number of drawbacks, such as immunological reaction and composition variation. Another supplement known as insulin-transferrin-selenium could act as serum replacement and help enhance the experimental results and therapeutic value of MSCs. Objective: The objective was to investigate the effect of tissue culture supplement in regard to bone marrow MSCs viability, proliferation, and differentiation potential. Materials and Methods: Human bmMSCs were grown in tissue culture plates at seeding density of 5 × 103 cells/cm2. The cells were divided into two groups, 10% FBS supplement or insulin-transferrin-sodium (ITS) supplement. The viability of the cells was assessed with live/dead cells kit (ethidium homodimer-1 and calcein). Cell proliferation was assessed with MTS assay, while multilineage differentiation potential was assessed with human MSC functional identification kit. Results: Our results showed that the viability of MSCs was comparable between FBS and ITS supplement groups at 24 h and 48 h intervals. Both groups showed similar proliferation capacity after 48 h and 72 h of incubation with no significant statistical difference. The cells from both groups were able to differentiate into osteoblasts, adipocytes, and chondrocytes. Conclusion: Insulin-transferrin-selenium supplement could be used as an alternative to FBS in laboratory experiments and clinical applications (such as cell therapy) to avoid the drawbacks of FBS and enhance the outcome of these applications.