Mesenchymal stem cell  markers

Mesenchymal stem cells are non-hematopoietic multipotent stem cells able to differentiate into various mesodermal cell types (osteoblasts, chondrocytes, adipocytes), but also into some ectodermal cells (neurocytes, epithelial cells) and endodermal cells (hepatocytes). 

Besides fetal tissues, umbilical cord, placenta, and amniotic fluid, mesenchymal stem cells can be isolated from adult tissues, e.g. from bone marrow, adipose tissue, endometrium, menstrual blood, peripheral blood, dental tissue, salivary gland, synovial fluid, hair follicles, or skin.

MSC.jpgMesenchymal stem cells can be used for production of autologous patient-specific therapeutic products. In addition to their ability to migrate into injured sites and to differentiate into multiple cell types, they also promote tissue regeneration by release of paracrine factors with pleiotropic effects, namely growth factors and anti-apoptotic, anti-inflammatory, anti-fibrotic, immunomodulatory and angiogenic cytokines. This paracrine role in damaged tissues represents important therapeutic benefit of mesenchymal stem cells.  More complicated situation is in the case of tumors. There, in certain cases, can mesenchymal stem cells contribute to cancer pathogenesis by promotion of immunosuppresive conditions and vascularization. In some other cases, however, these cells support anti-tumor mechanisms. Recently mesenchymal stem cells have been used as carriers for delivery of anti-cancer payloads to tumor cells.
Fig. 1: Clinical application of mesenchymal stem cells.
Markers of mesenchymal stem cells are mainly CD105, CD73 and CD90. Additional markers, usually reflecting the tissue of origin, are e.g. STRO-1, CD29, CD44, CD71, CD13, CD140b, CD146, and CD166.

Negative markers (not expressed on mesenchymal sterm cells) used for gating are above all CD45, CD14, and HLA-DR, sometimes also CD34.
Table of mesenchymal stem cell markers:


Antigen (antibody clone: formats)

Main mesenchymal stem cell markers

CD105 Hu (MEM-226: pur, PB, FITC, AF 488, PE, APC, PC7)
                   (MEM-229: pur, biotin, FITC, PE, PerC5.5)
CD105 Ms (MJ7/18: pur, PE)
CD73 Hu (AD2: pur, FITC, AF 488, PE, APC, AF 647, PC5, PC7, AC7)
CD90 Hu (5E10: pur, PB, FITC, PE, APC, PC5, AC7)

Additional specific markers

STRO-1 Hu (STRO-1: pur, PE, APC)
CD29 Hu (MEM-101A: pur, biotin, PB, FITC, PE, APC, AF 700)
CD44 Hu (MEM-85: pur, biotin, PB, FITC, AF 488, PE, APC,  AC7)
                 (MEM-263: pur, FITC, PE, APC)
CD44 Ms (IM7: pur, biotin, FITC, PE, APC, PerC5.5, PC7)
CD71 Hu (MEM-189: pur)
                 (MEM-75: pur, biotin, PB, FITC, PE, APC, AF 647, AF 700, AC7)
CD13 Hu (WM15: pur, biotin, PB, FITC, AF 488, PE, PDL 594, APC, PerCP, PerC5.5, PC7, AC7)
CD140b Hu (18A2: pur, PE, APC)
CD146 Hu (P1H12: pur, PE, PerCP)
CD166 Hu (3A6: pur)

Main negative markers

CD45 Hu (MEM-28: pur, biotin, PB, FITC, AF 488, PE, PDL 594, APC, AF 647, PC5, PerCP, PerC5.5, AF 700, PC7, AC7)
                 (HI30: pur, PB, PO, PerCPC5.5)
                 (2D1: pur, FITC, PO, PE)
CD45 Ms (EM-05: pur, PE, APC, PerCP)
CD14 Hu (MEM-15:  pur, biotin, PB, FITC, PO, PDL 594, PE, APC, PC5, PerCP, PerC5.5, PC7, AF 700, AC7)
              (MEM-18:  pur, biotin, FITC, PE, APC, AF 700)
              (B-A8:  pur)
HLA-DR (MEM-12: pur, PB, FITC, PE, APC, PerCP, AF 700)
               (L243: pur, PB, FITC, PO, PDL 594, PE, APC, AF 647, PC5, PerC5.5, PC7, AC7)
               (HL-39: pur)

pur = unconjugated antibody, PB = Pacific Blue™,  PO = Pacific Orange™,  PDL = PE-DyLight®, AF = Alexa Fluor®, PerC5.5 = PerCP-Cy™5.5, PC5 = PE-Cy™5, PC7 = PE-Cy™7, AC7 = APC- Cy™7
Fig. 2: Immunofluorescence staining of  CD105-expressing cells in infarcted porcine heart. Mouse monoclonal antibody MEM-229 was used, which recognizes not only human, but also porcine CD105 (green); cell nuclei stained with DAPI (blue).

Further reading:
Ullah I, Subbarao RB, Rho GJ: Human mesenchymal stem cells – current trends and future prospective. Biosci Rep. 2015 Apr 28;35(2):e00191.
Hmadcha A, Martin-Montalvo A, Gauthier BR, Soria B, Capilla-Gonzalez V: Therapeutic potential of mesenchymal stem cells for cancer therapy. Front Bioeng Biotechnol. 2020 Feb 5;8:43.
Wu X, Jiang J, Gu Z, Zhang J, Chen Y, Liu X: Mesenchymal stromal cell therapies: Immunomodulatory properties and clinical progress. Stem Cell Res Ther. 2020 Aug 8;11(1):345.
Lukomska B, Stanaszek L, Zuba-Surma E, Legosz P, Sarzynska S, Drela K: Challenges and controversies in human mesenchymal stem cell therapy. Stem Cells Int. 2019 Apr 9;2019:9628536.
Pittenger MF, Discher DE, Péault BM, Phinney DG, Hare JM, Caplan AI: Mesenchymal stem cell perspective: cell biology to clinical progress. NPJ Regen Med. 2019 Dec 2;4:22.
Pittenger MF, Aggarwal S: Human mesenchymal stem cells modulate allogeneic immune cell responses. Blood. 2005 Feb 15;105(4):1815-22.
Chen G, Yue A, Ruan Z, Yin Y, Wang R, Ren Y, Zhu L: Monitoring the biology stability of human umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells during long-term culture in serum-free medium. Cell Tissue Bank 2014 Dec;15(4):513-21.

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