Adipose mesenchymal stromal/stem cells expanded by a GMP compatible protocol displayed improved adhesion on cancer cells in flow conditions

Francesco Agostini, Carla Vicinanza, Federica Di Cintio, Monica Battiston, Elisabetta Lombardi, Giulia Golinelli, Cristina Durante, Giuseppe Toffoli, Massimo Dominici, Mario Mazzucato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Adipose tissue derived mesenchymal stromal/stem cells (ASC) can be expanded using supernatant rich in growth factors (SRGF) as Good Manufacturing Practice compatible additive, instead of fetal bovine serum (FBS). After transendothelial migration, ASC can migrate to cancer masses where they can release active substances. Due to their homing and secretion properties ASC can be used as targeted drug delivery vehicles. Nevertheless, the fraction of ASC actually reaching the tumor target is limited. The impact of culture conditions on ASC homing potential on cancer cells is unknown.

Methods: In dynamic in vitro conditions, we perfused FBS or SRGF ASC in flow chambers coated with collagen type I and fibronectin or seeded with endothelial cells or with HT1080, T98G and Huh7 cancer cells. Expression of selected adhesion molecules was evaluated by standard cytofluorimetry. Dynamic intracellular calcium concentration changes were evaluated in microfluidic and static conditions.

Results: When compared to FBS ASC, not specific adhesion of SRGF ASC on collagen type I and fibronectin was lower (-33.9%±12.2% and -45.3%±16.9%), while on-target binding on HT1080 and T98G was enhanced (+147%±8% and 120.5%±5.2%). Adhesion of both FBS and SRGF ASC on Huh7 cells was negligible. As confirmed by citofluorimetry and by function-blocking antibody, SRGF mediated decrease of CD49a expression accounted for lower SRGF-ASC avidity for matrix proteins. Upon stimulation with calcium ionophore in static conditions, mobilization of intracellular calcium in SRGF ASC was greater than in FBS ASC. In dynamic conditions, upon adhesion on matrix proteins and HT1080 cells, SRGF ASC showed marked oscillatory calcium concentration changes.

Conclusions: SRGF can enhance specific ASC binding capacity on selected cancer cells as HT1080 (fibrosarcoma) and T98G (glioblastoma) cells. Upon cell-cell adhesion, SRGF ASC activate intracellular responses potentially improving cell secretion functions. SRGF ASC could be considered as suitable drug delivery vehicle for cancer therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)533
Number of pages22
JournalAnnals of Translational Medicine
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020


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