Are your cells MSCs or fibroblasts?

Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) raise high hopes in regenerative medicine – but reliable molecular markers to discern MSCs and fibroblasts were so far elusive. Our Epi-MSC-Score provides a simple and robust approach to support classification of these two cell types. This facilitates quality control of your cell preparations.


How does it work?

To identify relevant genomic regions that can discern MSCs and fibroblasts, we utilized 83 DNA methylation (DNAm) profiles from 12 studies for a training set and 107 DNAm profiles of 16 studies as validation set. Thereby, we identified two CpG dinucleotides – associated with the genes C3orf35 and CIDEC – that are rather methylated in MSCs or fibroblasts, respectively. The Epi-MSC-Score is determined as the difference of these DNAm levels: a level above 0 is indicative for MSCs. We generated pyrosequencing assays that facilitate fast and cost-effective analysis of DNAm levels at the two relevant CpGs (C3orf35 and CIDEC).



de Almeida CD et al., Stem Cell Reports 2016; 6(2): 168-175.

Patent application: 2016; EP16152198.4











Figure 1: Classification by the Epi-MSC-Score. Thirty-four cell preparations were analyzed with our pyrosequencing assays and all of them were correctly classified in MSCs and fibroblasts.