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Stem Cells International
Volume 2017, Article ID 2541275, 15 pages
Research Article

Human Adipose-Derived Stem Cells Exhibit Enhanced Proliferative Capacity and Retain Multipotency Longer than Donor-Matched Bone Marrow Mesenchymal Stem Cells during Expansion In Vitro

1Division of Cell Matrix Biology and Regenerative Medicine, School of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health, The University of Manchester, Stopford Building, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PT, UK
2NIHR Manchester Musculoskeletal Biomedical Research Unit, Central Manchester Foundation Trust, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, Manchester, UK

Correspondence should be addressed to Stephen M. Richardson;

Received 23 December 2016; Accepted 5 March 2017; Published 3 May 2017

Academic Editor: Mahmood S. Choudhery

Copyright © 2017 Kimberley L. Burrow 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.


Bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and adipose-derived multipotent/mesenchymal stem cells (ASCs) have been proposed as the ideal cell types for a range of musculoskeletal tissue engineering and regenerative medicine therapies. However, extensive in vitro expansion is required to generate sufficient cells for clinical application and previous studies have demonstrated differences in the proliferative capacity and the impact of expansion on differentiation capacity of both MSCs and ASCs. Significantly, these studies routinely use cells from different donors, making direct comparisons difficult. Importantly, this study directly compared the proliferative capacity and multipotency of human MSCs and ASCs from the same donors to determine how each cell type was affected by in vitro expansion. The study identified that ASCs were able to proliferate faster and undergo greater population doublings than donor-matched MSCs and that senescence was primarily driven via telomere shortening and upregulation of p16ink4a. Both donor-matched MSCs and ASCs were capable of trilineage differentiation early in cultures; however, while differentiation capacity diminished with time in culture, ASCs retained enhanced capacity compared to MSCs. These findings suggest that ASCs may be the most appropriate cell type for musculoskeletal tissue engineering and regenerative medicine therapies due to their enhanced in vitro expansion capacity and limited loss of differentiation potential.