The capability of multipotent mesenchymal stem cells to maintain cell viability, phenotype and differentiation ability upon thawing is critical if they are to be banked and used for future therapeutic purposes. In the present study, we examined the effect of 9-10 months of cryostorage on the morphology, immunophenotype, colony-forming unit (CFU) and differentiation capacity of fresh and cryopreserved human adipose-derived stromal/stem cells (ASCs) from the same donors. Cryopreservation did not reduce the CFU frequency and the expression levels of CD29, CD73, CD90 and CD105 remained unchanged with the exception of CD34 and CD45; however, the differentiation capacity of cryopreserved ASCs relative to fresh cells was significantly reduced. While our findings suggest that future studies are warranted to improve cryopreservation methods and agents, cryopreserved ASCs retain sufficient features to ensure their practical utility for both research and clinical applications.

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