Multipotent adult progenitor cells from swine bone marrow

Lepeng Zeng, Eric Rahrmann, Qingsong Hu, Troy Lund, Lee Sandquist, Mike Felten, Timothy D. O'Brien, Jianyi Zhang, Catherine Verfaillie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


We show that multipotent adult progenitor cells (MAPCs) can be derived from both postnatal and fetal swine bone marrow (BM). Although swine MAPC (swMAPC) cultures are initially mixed, cultures are phenotypically homogenous by 50 population doublings (PDs) and can be maintained as such for more than 100 PDs. swMAPCs are negative for CD44, CD45, and major histocompatibility complex (MHC) classes I and II; express octamer binding transcription factor 3a (Oct3a) mRNA and protein at levels close to those seen in human ESCs (hESCs); and have telomerase activity preventing telomere shortening even after 100 PDs. Using quantitative-reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (Q-RT-PCR), immunofluorescence, and functional assays, we demonstrate that swMAPCs differentiate into chondrocytes, adipocytes, osteoblasts, smooth muscle cells, endothelium, hepatocyte-like cells, and neuron-like cells. Consistent with what we have shown for human and rodent MAPCs, Q-RT-PCR demonstrated a significant upregulation of transcription factors and other lineage-specific transcripts in a time-dependent fashion similar to development. When swMAPCs were passaged for 3-6 passages at high density (2,000-8,000 cells per cm2), Oct3a mRNA levels were no longer detectable, cells acquired the phenotype of mesenchymal stem cells (CD44+, MHC class I+), and could differentiate into typical mesenchymal lineages (adipocytes, osteoblasts, and chondroblasts), but not endothelium, hepatocyte-like cells, or neuron-like cells. Even if cultures were subsequently replated at low density (approximately 100-500 cells per cm2) for >20 PDs, Oct3a was not re-expressed, nor were cells capable of differentiating to cells other than mesenchymal-type cells. This suggests that the phenotype and functional characteristics of swMAPCs may not be an in vitro culture phenomenon.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2355-2366
Number of pages12
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2006


  • Bone marrow
  • Cell therapy
  • Heart failure
  • Large animal model
  • Stem cell


Dive into the research topics of 'Multipotent adult progenitor cells from swine bone marrow'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this