Human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are presently on the top of hierarchy in the field of stem cell therapy, due to their miraculous therapeutic abilities in diminishing the symptoms of many chronic diseases and initiating regeneration and repair for various damaged tissues and organs. The foremost initial step to reach high success rate in any MSCs based study is the optimization of culture growth media by establishing a suitable fetal bovine serum (FBS) percentage that suits the purpose of MSCs based experiment. Choosing the suitable FBS percentage is a controversial issue and merely depends on the researchers experience and suggested recommendations by the suppliers. Despite the huge improvements in overall MSCs investigating approaches, there are no definite protocols that set up a range of FBS percentages that can be followed. Toward achieving this objective, we evaluate in the present report the effect of using various FBS percentages (5–20%) added to DMEM low glucose media, on the biological behaviour of MSCs. Growing MSCs in high FBS percentages containing culture media (15% and 20% FBS) increase the proliferation and expansion rate of MSCs, although it decreases the immunosuppressive properties. On the other hand, adding low FBS percentage (7% FBS) to MSCs culture media enhanced the immunosuppression characteristics of MSCs, even though the proliferation rate was moderately reduced. 7% FBS is the cut off percentage that can be used without negatively altering major MSCs biological properties in which using 5% FBS will cause a tremendous decrease in the proliferation capacity and immunosuppressive properties. This report may assist other researchers in choosing appropriate FBS percentage when preparing MSCs culture media that serve the purpose of their MSCs based studies.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
This study was funded by a grant from the deanship of Research at Yarmouk University.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Dahl JA et al (2008) Genetic and epigenetic instability of human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells expanded in autologous serum or fetal bovine serum. Int J Dev Biol 52(8):1033–1042CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
Kharaziha P et al (2009) Improvement of liver function in liver cirrhosis patients after autologous mesenchymal stem cell injection: a phase I-II clinical trial. Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol 21(10):1199–1205CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
Bang OY et al (2005) Autologous mesenchymal stem cell transplantation in stroke patients. Ann Neurol 57(6):874–882CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
Le Blanc K et al (2008) Mesenchymal stem cells for treatment of steroid-resistant, severe, acute graft-versus-host disease: a phase II study. The Lancet 371(9624):1579–1586CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Adak S, Mukherjee S, Sen D (2017) Mesenchymal stem cell as a potential therapeutic for inflammatory bowel disease—myth or reality? Curr Stem Cell Res Ther 12(8):644–657CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
Calonge M et al (2018) A proof-of-concept clinical trial using mesenchymal stem cells for the treatment of corneal epithelial stem cell deficiency. Transl Res 206:18–40CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
Trounson A, McDonald C (2015) Stem cell therapies in clinical trials: progress and challenges. Cell Stem Cell 17(1):11–22CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
Bieback K et al (2009) Human alternatives to fetal bovine serum for the expansion of mesenchymal stromal cells from bone marrow. Stem Cells 27(9):2331–2341CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
Sareen N et al (2018) Early passaging of mesenchymal stem cells does not instigate significant modifications in their immunological behavior. Stem Cell Res Ther 9(1):121CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar