Abstract In the dog, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been shown to reside in the bone marrow (bone marrowderived mesenchymal stem cells: BM-MSCs) as well as in the adipose tissue (adipose tissue-derived stem cells: ADSCs). Potential application fields for these multipotent MSCs in small animal practice are joint diseases as MSCs of both sources have shown to possess chondrogenic differentiation ability. However, it is not clear whether the chondrogenic differentiation potential of cells of these two distinct tissues is truly equal. Therefore, we compared MSCs of both origins in this study in terms of their chondrogenic differentiation ability and suitability for clinical application. BMMSCs harvested from the femoral neck and ADSCs from intra-abdominal fat tissue were examined for their morphology, population doubling time (PDT) and CD90 surface antigen expression. RT-PCR served to assess expression of pluripotency marker Oct4 and early differentiation marker genes. Chondrogenic differentiation ability was compared and validated using histochemistry, transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and quantitative RT-PCR. Both cell populations presented a highly similar morphology and marker expression in an undifferentiated stage except that freshly isolated ADSCs demonstrated a significantly faster PDT than BM-MSCs. In contrast, BM-MSCs revealed a morphological superior cartilage formation by the production of a more abundant and structured hyaline matrix and higher expression of lineage specific genes under the applied standard differentiation protocol. However, further investigations are necessary in order to find out if chondrogenic differentiation can be improved in canine ADSCs using different protocols and/or supplements.
Keywords Dog . Mesenchymal stem cells . Chondrogenic differentiation . Cartilage . Osteoarthritis