Affiliations: Department of Biotechnology, Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey | Division of Pediatric Hematology, Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey | Pedistem Center for Stem Cell Research and Development, Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey | Department of Biological Sciences, Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey
Note:  Corresponding author: Feride Severcan, Department of Biological Sciences, Middle East Technical University, 06800 Ankara, Turkey. Tel.: +90 312 210 51 66; Fax: +90 312 210 79 76; E-mail: email@example.com.
Abstract: Bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs) are pluripotent cells that can differentiate into a variety of non-hematopoietic tissues. They also maintain healthy heamatopoiesis by providing supportive cellular microenvironment for hematopoietic precursor cells in bone marrow. The present study aimed to investigate global structural and compositional changes in BM-MSCs during beta thalasemia major (β-TM) using Fourier transform infrared microspectroscopy (FTIRM). Firstly, BM-MSCs were characterized in terms of their morphological, immunophenotypical and differentiation properties. Then, variation in the macromolecular concentrations between studied groups was obtained visually. The significant increase in lipid, protein and nucleic acid concentrations in thalassemic BM-MSCs with respect to the healthy controls were attributed to enhanced cell proliferation and bone marrow activity during ineffective erytropoiesis (IE). The significant decrease in the concentration of the mentioned macromolecules after bone marrow transplantation therapy was interpreted as recovery of IE. Based on their spectral differences healthy control, pre and post-transplant group BM-MSCs were successfully discriminated by hierarchical cluster analysis. This study demonstrated that FTIR imaging can probe interactions between HSCs and MSCs in bone marrow microenvironment rapidly, non-destructively and with minimal experimental preparation procedure by considering the effect of BMT therapy.