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In Inflammation and regeneration

BACKGROUND : Rapidly expanding clones (RECs) are one of the single-cell-derived mesenchymal stem cell clones sorted from human bone marrow mononuclear cells (BMMCs), which possess advantageous features. The RECs exhibit long-lasting proliferation potency that allows more than 10 repeated serial passages in vitro, considerably benefiting the manufacturing process of allogenic MSC-based therapeutic products. Although RECs aid the preparation of large-variation clone libraries for a greedy selection of better-quality clones, such a selection is only possible by establishing multiple-candidate cell banks for quality comparisons. Thus, there is a high demand for a novel method that can predict "low-risk and high-potency clones" early and in a feasible manner given the excessive cost and effort required to maintain such an establishment.

METHODS : LNGFR and Thy-1 co-positive cells from BMMCs were single-cell-sorted into 96-well plates, and only fast-growing clones that reached confluency in 2 weeks were picked up and passaged as RECs. Fifteen RECs were prepared as passage 3 (P3) cryostock as the primary cell bank. From this cryostock, RECs were passaged until their proliferation limitation; their serial-passage limitation numbers were labeled as serial-passage potencies. At the P1 stage, phase-contrast microscopic images were obtained over 6-90 h to identify time-course changes of 24 morphological descriptors describing cell population information. Machine learning models were constructed using the morphological descriptors for predicting serial-passage potencies. The time window and field-of-view-number effects were evaluated to identify the most efficient image data usage condition for realizing high-performance serial-passage potency models.

RESULTS : Serial-passage test results indicated variations of 7-13-repeated serial-passage potencies within RECs. Such potency values were predicted quantitatively with high performance (RMSE < 1.0) from P1 morphological profiles using a LASSO model. The earliest and minimum effort predictions require 6-30 h with 40 FOVs and 6-90 h with 15 FOVs, respectively.

CONCLUSION : We successfully developed a noninvasive morphology-based machine learning model to enhance the efficiency of establishing cell banks with single-cell-derived RECs for quantitatively predicting the future serial-passage potencies of clones. Conventional methods that can make noninvasive and quantitative predictions without wasting precious cells in the early stage are lacking; the proposed method will provide a more efficient and robust cell bank establishment process for allogenic therapeutic product manufacturing.

Suyama Takashi, Takemoto Yuto, Miyauchi Hiromi, Kato Yuko, Matsuzaki Yumi, Kato Ryuji


Cell bank establishment, LNGFR, Mesenchymal stem cells, Morphological analysis, Prediction model, Rapidly expanding clone (REC), Serial-passage potency, THY-1