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Title: Development of a Robust Consensus Modeling Approach for Identifying Cellular and Media Metabolites Predictive of Mesenchymal Stromal Cell Potency

Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) have shown promise in regenerative medicine applications due in part to their ability to modulate immune cells. However, MSCs demonstrate significant functional heterogeneity in terms of their immunomodulatory function because of differences in MSC donor/tissue source, as well as non-standardized manufacturing approaches. As MSC metabolism plays a critical role in their ability to expand to therapeutic numbers ex vivo, we comprehensively profiled intracellular and extracellular metabolites throughout the expansion process to identify predictors of immunomodulatory function (T-cell modulation and indoleamine-2,3-dehydrogenase (IDO) activity). Here, we profiled media metabolites in a non-destructive manner through daily sampling and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), as well as MSC intracellular metabolites at the end of expansion using mass spectrometry (MS). Using a robust consensus machine learning approach, we were able to identify panels of metabolites predictive of MSC immunomodulatory function for 10 independent MSC lines. This approach consisted of identifying metabolites in 2 or more machine learning models and then building consensus models based on these consensus metabolite panels. Consensus intracellular metabolites with high predictive value included multiple lipid classes (such as phosphatidylcholines, phosphatidylethanolamines, and sphingomyelins) while consensus media metabolites included proline, phenylalanine, and pyruvate. Pathway enrichment identified metabolic pathways significantly associated with MSC function such as sphingolipid signaling and metabolism, arginine and proline metabolism, and autophagy. Overall, this work establishes a generalizable framework for identifying consensus predictive metabolites that predict MSC function, as well as guiding future MSC manufacturing efforts through identification of high-potency MSC lines and metabolic engineering.

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Author(s) / Creator(s):
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Publisher / Repository:
Oxford University Press
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Stem Cells
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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