Cultured Human Adipose Tissue Pericytes and Mesenchymal Stromal Cells Display a Very Similar Gene Expression Profile.Stem Cells Dev 2015; 24(23):2822-40SC
Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) are cultured cells that can give rise to mature mesenchymal cells under appropriate conditions and secrete a number of biologically relevant molecules that may play an important role in regenerative medicine. Evidence indicates that pericytes (PCs) correspond to mesenchymal stem cells in vivo and can give rise to MSCs when cultured, but a comparison between the gene expression profiles of cultured PCs (cPCs) and MSCs is lacking. We have devised a novel methodology to isolate PCs from human adipose tissue and compared cPCs to MSCs obtained through traditional methods. Freshly isolated PCs expressed CD34, CD140b, and CD271 on their surface, but not CD146. Both MSCs and cPCs were able to differentiate along mesenchymal pathways in vitro, displayed an essentially identical surface immunophenotype, and exhibited the ability to suppress CD3(+) lymphocyte proliferation in vitro. Microarray expression data of cPCs and MSCs formed a single cluster among other cell types. Further analyses showed that the gene expression profiles of cPCs and MSCs are extremely similar, although MSCs differentially expressed endothelial cell (EC)-specific transcripts. These results confirm, using the power of transcriptomic analysis, that PCs give rise to MSCs and suggest that low levels of ECs may persist in MSC cultures established using traditional protocols.