Int J Med Sci 2019; 16(8):1102-1106. doi:10.7150/ijms.32100 This issue

Research Paper

A new method to confirm the absence of human and animal serum in mesenchymal stem cell culture media

Megumi Ota*, Kentaro Takagaki✉*, Sho Takaoka, Hideki Tanemura, Naoki Urushihata

BioMimetics Sympathies Inc., Aomi, Koto-Ku, Tokyo, Japan
*Megumi Ota and Kentaro Takagaki contributed equally to this work

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Ota M, Takagaki K, Takaoka S, Tanemura H, Urushihata N. A new method to confirm the absence of human and animal serum in mesenchymal stem cell culture media. Int J Med Sci 2019; 16(8):1102-1106. doi:10.7150/ijms.32100. Available from

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Mesenchymal stem cells are an ideal source for regenerative medicine. For clinical use, cell culture should be done at stable conditions, thus the use of serum should be avoided because of the batch-to-batch variations of serum. Although several kinds of serum-free media are available, a method to confirm whether they contain serum has not been established yet. During studies on effect of adipocyte mesenchymal stem cells (Ad-MSCs) on pain using a human pain gene array, we noticed that BDKRB1 gene was constantly upregulated when serum was used in the culture medium. In this study, we attempted to establish further the potential of this gene as a new marker indicative of the presence of serum in media. Using a real-time quantitative PCR gene array screening containing 84 functional genes, we verified BDKRB1 as a specific gene upregulated in the presence of serum. The expression of BDKRB1 in Ad-MSCs was induced not only by bovine serum but also by human serum. The BDKRB1 expression was induced even when Ad-MSCs was cultured with 0.1% serum in the medium. We concluded that BDKRB1 is a valuable marker to detect traces of both human and animal serum in Ad-MSCs cultures. Our study provides a new method to confirm the absence of serum in media and ensure a stable cell culture condition.

Keywords: Human adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells, BDKRB1 gene, serum-free culture medium, stable cell culture