Development of novel monoclonal antibodies that define differentiation stages of human stromal (mesenchymal) stem cells

Ditte C. Andersen, Angela Kortesidis, Andrew C W Zannettino, Irina Kratchmarova, Li Chen, Ole N. Jensen, Børge Teisner, Stan Gronthos, Charlotte H. Jensen, Moustapha Kassem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSC) are currently being introduced for cell therapy, yet, antibodies specific for native and differentiated MSCs are required for their identification prior to clinical use. Herein, high quality antibodies against MSC surface proteins were developed by immunizing mice with hMSC, and by using a panel of subsequent screening methods. Flow cytometry analysis revealed that 83.5, 1.1, and 8.5% of primary cultures of hMSC were double positive for STRO-1 and either of DJ 3, 9, and 18, respectively. However, none of the three DJ antibodies allowed enrichment of clonogenic hMSC from BMMNCs as single reagents. Using mass-spectrometric analysis, we identified the antigen recognised by DJ3 as CD44, whereas DJ9 and DJ18 recognized HLA-DRB1 and Collagen VI, respectively. The identified proteins were highly expressed throughout in vitro osteogenic- and adipogenic differentiation. Interestingly, undifferentiated cells revealed a sole cytoplasmic distribution pattern of Collagen VI, which however changed to an extracellular matrix appearance upon osteogenic- and adipogenic differentiation. In relation to this, we found that STRO-1 +/-/Collagen VI- sorted hMSC contained fewer differentiated alkaline phosphatase + cells compared to STRO-1 +/-/ Collagen VI + hMSC, suggesting that Collagen VI on the cell membrane exclusively defines differentiated MSCs. In conclusion, we have generated a panel of high quality antibodies to be used for characterization of MSCs, and in addition our results may suggest that the DJ18 generated antibody against Collagen VI can be used for negative selection of cultured undifferentiated MSCs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-142
Number of pages10
JournalMolecules and Cells
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished or Issued - Aug 2011


  • MSC differentiation
  • MSC markers
  • Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC)
  • Monoclonal antibodies
  • Osteogenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

Cite this