Objective—To evaluate effects of apheresis on mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and compare those MSCs with MSCs obtained from adipose tissue or bone marrow (BM).
Sample Population—Samples obtained from 6 adult horses.
Procedures—Samples of blood from a peripheral vein, adipose tissue, and BM aspirate were obtained from each horse. Samples were processed via apheresis of blood and techniques reported elsewhere for adipose tissue and BM. Cultures were maintained until adherence and subsequently were subjected to differentiation protocols to evaluate adipogenic, osteoblastogenic, and chondrogenic potential.
Results—Apheresis product had a significantly higher mononuclear percentage, higher platelet count, and lower RBC count, compared with values for peripheral blood. No cell adherence to the tissue culture plates was detected for the apheresis product. Adherence was detected for 6 of 6 adipose-derived and 4 of 6 BM-derived samples. Variations in efficiency were detected for differentiation of adipose- and BM-derived cells into adipocytes, chondrocytes, and osteoblasts.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Apheresis was able to concentrate mononuclear cells and reduce RBC contamination. However, the apheresis product was unable to adhere to the tissue culture plates. In matched horses, adipose- and BM-derived MSCs were capable of producing lipids, glycosaminoglycan, and mineral. The BM was vastly superior to adipose tissue as a source of MSCs with osteoblastogenic potential in matched horses. Additional studies will be necessary to optimize apheresis techniques for horses before peripheral blood can be considered a suitable source for multipotential cells for use in cell-based treatments.