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Calcif Tissue Int. 2009 Jul;85(1):55-65. doi: 10.1007/s00223-009-9250-x. Epub 2009 May 8.

Comparison of osteogenic potentials of BMP4 transduced stem cells from autologous bone marrow and fat tissue in a rabbit model of calvarial defects.

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  • 1Institute of Sports Medicine, Peking University Third Hospital, No.49, North Garden Road, Haidian District, Beijing 100191, People's Republic of China.


We compared bone marrow stem cells (BMSCs) and adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs) of adult rabbits under identical conditions in terms of their culture characteristics, proliferation capacity, osteogenic differentiation potentials induced by adenovirus-containing bone morphogenetic protein 4 (Ad-BMP4) in vitro, and capacity to repair calvarial defects in the rabbit model by autologous transplantation ex vivo. According to the results of growth curve, cell cycle, and telomerase activity analysis, ADSCs possess a higher proliferation potential. Both of the Ad-BMP4 transduced MSCs expressed BMP4 mRNA and protein and underwent osteogenic differentiation. Up-regulated mRNA expression of all osteogenic genes was observed in differentiated BMSCs and ADSCs, but with different patterns confirmed by real-time RT-PCR. Deposition of calcified extracellular matrix was significantly greater in differentiated ADSCs compared with differentiated BMSCs. X-ray and histological examination indicated significant bone regeneration in the calvarial defects transplanted with Ad-BMP4 transduced autologous MSCs compared to the control groups. There was no significant difference in new bone formation in Ad-BMP4 transduced MSCs based on quantitative digital analysis of histological sections. The use of ADSCs often resulted in the growth of fat tissue structures in the control groups, and the fat tissue structures were not seen with BMSC cells. Our data demonstrate that BMP4 can be potently osteoinductive in vivo, resulting in bone repair. ADSCs may be an attractive alternative to BMSCs for bone tissue engineering under appropriate stimuli. But the easy adipogenic differentiation needs to be considered when choosing adipose tissue for specific clinical application.

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