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Bone. 2006 Jun;38(6):758-68. Epub 2006 Jan 3.

Skeletal site-specific characterization of orofacial and iliac crest human bone marrow stromal cells in same individuals.

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  • 1Department of Oral Medicine, University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, The Robert Schattner Center Room 209 240 South 40th Street, Philadelphia, 19104, USA.


Autologous grafts from axial and appendicular bones commonly used to repair orofacial bone defects often result in unfavorable outcome. This clinical observation, along with the fact that many bone abnormalities are limited to craniofacial bones, suggests that there are significant differences in bone metabolism in orofacial, axial and appendicular bones. It is plausible that these differences are dictated by site-specificity of embryological progenitor cells and osteogenic properties of resident multipotent human bone marrow stromal cells (hBMSCs). This study investigated skeletal site-specific phenotypic and functional differences between orofacial (maxilla and mandible) and axial (iliac crest) hBMSCs in vitro and in vivo. Primary cultures of maxilla, mandible and iliac crest hBMSCs were established with and without osteogenic inducers. Site-specific characterization included colony forming efficiency, cell proliferation, life span before senescence, relative presence of surface markers, adipogenesis, osteogenesis and transplantation in immunocompromised mice to compare bone regenerative capacity. Compared with iliac crest cells, orofacial hBMSCs (OF-MSCs) proliferated more rapidly with delayed senescence, expressed higher levels of alkaline phosphatase and demonstrated more calcium accumulation in vitro. Cells isolated from the three skeletal sites were variably positive for STRO 1, a marker of hBMSCs. OF-MSCs formed more bone in vivo, while iliac crest hBMSCs formed more compacted bone that included hematopoietic tissue and were more responsive in vitro and in vivo to osteogenic and adipogenic inductions. These data demonstrate that hBMSCs from the same individuals differ in vitro and in vivo in a skeletal site-specific fashion and identified orofacial marrow stromal cells as unique cell populations. Further understanding of site-specific properties of hBMSCs and their impact on site-specific bone diseases and regeneration are needed.

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