Tonsil-derived mesenchymal stromal cells: Evaluation of biologic, immunologic and genetic factors for successful banking

Kyung Ha Ryu, Kyung Ah Cho, Hae Sang Park, Ji Yon Kim, So Youn Woo, Inho Jo, Yoon Hee Choi, Young Mi Park, Sung Chul Jung, Sung Min Chung, Byung Ok Choi, Han Su Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

115 Scopus citations


Background aims. Although mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) from human palatine tonsils (tonsillar MSC, T-MSC) have been isolated, whether T-MSC isolated from multiple donors are feasible for cell banking has not been studied. Methods. T-MSC before and after a standard protocol of cryopreservation and thawing were assessed regarding several basic characteristics, including colony-forming unitfibroblast features, MSC-specific surface antigen profiles, and inhibition of alloreactive T-cell proliferation. In vitro mesodermal differentiation potentials to adipocytes, osteocytes and chondrocytes were detected by staining with either cell-specific dyes or antibody after incubation with each appropriate differentiation medium. Expression of mesoderm-specific genes was also quantified by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay. Expression profiles of endoderm-specific genes were identified by reverse transcription PCR assay. The feasibility of T-MSC in future engraftment was tested by short tandem repeat (STR) analysis using genomic DNA isolated randomly from three independent subjects. Results. Both fresh and cryopreservedthawed T-MSC showed a similar high proliferation capacity and expressed primitive cell-surface markers. Hematopoietic cell markers, HLA-DR, co-stimulatory molecules and follicular dendritic cell markers were not detected. In addition to mesodermal differentiation, fresh and cryopreservedthawed cells also underwent endodermal differentiation, as evidenced by the expression of endoderm-specific genes including forkhead box A2 (FoxA2), SIX homeobox 1 (Six1) and chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 21 (CCL21). Both cells significantly decreased phorbol 12- myristate 13-acetate (PMA)-induced T-cell proliferation. T-MSC from three independent donors formed chimerism in STR analysis. Conclusions. Our results demonstrate for the first time that T-MSC are a potentially good source for MSC banking.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1193-1202
Number of pages10
Issue number10
StatePublished - Nov 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (2010–0022335).


  • cryopreservation and thawing
  • endodermal differentiation
  • immune regulatory properties
  • stem cell banking
  • tonsil
  • tonsil-derived mesenchymal stromal cells


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