Ultrastructural analysis of different human mesenchymal stem cells after in vitro expansion: a technical review

  • M. Miko | misko.miko@gmail.com Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia.
  • L. Danisovic Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia.
  • A. Majidi Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia.
  • I. Varga Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia.

Abstract

Transmission electron microscopy reveals ultrastructural details of cells, and it is a valuable method for studying cell organelles. That is why we used this method for detailed morphological description of different adult tissuederived stem cells, focusing on the morphological signs of their functions (proteosynthetic activity, exchange with external environment, etc.) and their comparison. Preparing a specimen from the cell culture suitable for transmission electron microscopy is, however, much more challenging than routine tissue processing for normal histological examination. There are several issues that need to be solved while working with cell pellets instead of solid tissue. Here we describe a simple protocol for the isolation and culture of mesenchymal stem cells from different adult tissues, with applications to stem cell biology and regenerative medicine. Since we are working with population of cells that was obtained after many days of passaging, very efficient and gentle procedures are highly necessary. We demonstrated that our semi-conservative approach regarding to histological techniques and processing of cells for transmission electron microscopy is a well reproducible procedure which results in quality pictures and images of cell populations with minimum distortions and artifacts. We also commented about riskiest steps and histochemical issues (e.g., precise pH, temperature) while preparing the specimen. We bring full and detailed procedures of fixation, post-fixation, infiltration, embedding, polymerization and contrasting of cell obtained from in vitro cell and tissue cultures, with modifications according to our experience. All this steps are essential for us to know more about adult stem cells derived from different sources or about other random cell populations. The knowledge about detailed ultra-structure of adult stem cells cultured in vitro are also essential for their using in regenerative medicine and tissue engineering.

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Author Biographies

M. Miko, Comenius University in Bratislava
Institute of Histology and Embryology, Faculty of Medicine
L. Danisovic, Comenius University in Bratislava
Institute of Histology and Embryology, Faculty of Medicine
A. Majidi, Comenius University in Bratislava
Institute of Histology and Embryology, Faculty of Medicine
I. Varga, Comenius University in Bratislava
Institute of Histology and Embryology, Faculty of Medicine
Published
2015-10-26
Info
Issue
Section
Technical Notes
Supporting Agencies
Slovak Research and Development Agency
Keywords:
Adult stem cells, in vitro cultivation, transmission electron microscopy, histological techniques, cell suspension.
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How to Cite
Miko, M., Danisovic, L., Majidi, A., & Varga, I. (2015). Ultrastructural analysis of different human mesenchymal stem cells after in vitro expansion: a technical review. European Journal of Histochemistry, 59(4). https://doi.org/10.4081/ejh.2015.2528