Bone marrow mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) are precursors of adipocytes and osteoblasts and key regulators of hematopoiesis. Irradiation is widely used in conditioning regimens. Although MSCs are radio-resistant, the effects of low-dose irradiation on their behavior have not been extensively explored. Our aim was to evaluate the effect of 2.5 Gy on MSCs. Cells from 25 healthy donors were either irradiated or not (the latter were used as controls). Cells were characterized following International Society for Cellular Therapy criteria, including in vitro differentiation assays. Apoptosis was evaluated by annexin V/7-amino-actinomycin staining. Gene expression profiling and reverse transcriptase (RT)-PCR of relevant genes was also performed. Finally, long-term bone marrow cultures were performed to test the hematopoietic-supporting ability. Our results showed that immunophenotypic characterization and viability of irradiated cells was comparable with that of control cells. Gene expression profiling showed 50 genes differentially expressed. By RT-PCR, SDF-1 and ANGPT were overexpressed, whereas COL1A1 was downregulated in irradiated cells (P =.015, P =.007, and P =.031, respectively). Interestingly, differentiation of irradiated cells was skewed toward osteogenesis, whereas adipogenesis was impaired. Higher expression of genes involved in osteogenesis as SPP1 (P =.039) and lower of genes involved in adipogenesis, CEBPA and PPARG (P =.003 and P =.019), together with an increase in the mineralization capacity (Alizarin Red) was observed in irradiated cells. After differentiation, adipocyte counts were decreased in irradiated cells at days 7, 14, and 21 (P =.018 P =.046, and P =.018, respectively). Also, colony-forming unit granulocyte macrophage number in long-term bone marrow cultures was significantly higher in irradiated cells after 4 and 5 weeks (P =.046 and P =.007). In summary, the irradiation of MSCs with 2.5 Gy improves their hematopoietic-supporting ability by increasing osteogenic differentiation and decreasing adipogenesis.
- Bone marrow