Culture medium of mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) is usually supplemented with either human platelet lysate (HPL) or fetal calf serum (FCS). Many studies have demonstrated that proliferation and cellular morphology are affected by these supplements - it is therefore important to determine if they favor outgrowth of different subpopulations and thereby impact on the heterogeneous composition of MSCs. We have isolated and expanded human bone marrow-derived MSCs in parallel with HPL or FCS and demonstrated that HPL significantly increases proliferation and leads to dramatic differences in cellular morphology. Remarkably, global DNA-methylation profiles did not reveal any significant differences. Even at the transcriptomic level, there were only moderate changes in pairwise comparison. Furthermore, the effects on proliferation, cytoskeletal organization, and focal adhesions were reversible by interchanging to opposite culture conditions. These results indicate that cultivation of MSCs with HPL or FCS has no systematic bias for specific cell types.