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Stem Cells International
Volume 2016, Article ID 6549347, 9 pages
Research Article

Labeling Adipose-Derived Stem Cells with Hoechst 33342: Usability and Effects on Differentiation Potential and DNA Damage

Comprehensive Hearing Center, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Plastic, Aesthetic and Reconstructive Head and Neck Surgery, University of Würzburg, Josef-Schneider-Strasse 11, 97080 Würzburg, Germany

Received 31 January 2016; Revised 5 April 2016; Accepted 27 April 2016

Academic Editor: Kouichi Hasegawa

Copyright © 2016 P. Schendzielorz et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs) have been extensively studied in the field of stem cell research and possess numerous clinical applications. Cell labeling is an essential component of various experimental protocols and Hoechst 33342 (H33342) represents a cost-effective and easy methodology for live staining. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the labeling of rat ASCs with two different concentrations of H33342 (0.5 μg/mL and 5 μg/mL), with particular regard to usability, interference with cell properties, and potential DNA damage. Hoechst 33342 used at a low concentration of 0.5 μg/mL did not significantly affect cell proliferation, viability, or differentiation potential of the ASCs, nor did it cause any significant DNA damage as measured by the olive tail moment. High concentrations of 5 μg/mL H33342, however, impaired the proliferation and viability of the ASCs, and considerable DNA damage was observed. Undesirable colabeling of unlabeled cocultivated cells was seen in particular with higher concentrations of H33342, independent of varying washing procedures. Hence, H33342 labeling with lower concentrations represents a usable method, which does not affect the tested cell properties. However, the colabeling of adjacent cells is a drawback of the technique.