Pharmacological aspecific immunosuppression, despite being widely used in solid organ transplantation recipients, is unable to completely prevent allograft rejection. It promotes the occurrence of sometimes life-threatening infections. Due to their immunosuppressive and anti- inflammatory properties, there is great interest in the therapeutic use of bone marrow (BM)-derived mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC). Large animal models play a crucial role to investigate the biological and functional properties of MSCs as novel cellular therapy. In the current study we sought to isolate expand ex vivo, and phenotypically characterize MSC derived from BM of 4 Large White 6-month-old piglets. Porcine MSC (pMSC) were characterized for their in vitro differentiation capacity. pMSC were successfully isolated from all BM samples. They showed spindle-shaped morphology and a stable doubling time on culture. They were positive for CD90, CD29, CD105, and negative for CD45 and CD11b. Furthermore, they differentiated, upon specific in vitro conditions toward adipogenic and osteogenic lineages. The optimization of methods for the isolation and characterization of pMSC may be useful to elucidate their biological and functional properties. The anatomy and physiology of the pig, which is similar to humans, make this animal model more attractive than small animals to test the safety and efficacy of MSC in the context of solid organ transplantation.
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