Send to

Choose Destination
J Cell Physiol. 2004 Jan;198(1):110-8.

Non-hematopoietic human bone marrow contains long-lasting, pluripotential mesenchymal stem cells.

Author information

Orthopedic Surgery Service, Geneva University Hospital, Geneva, Switzerland.


Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) are considered as potential agents for reconstructive and gene-targeting therapies since they differentiate into various cell-lineages, exhibit an extended survival once injected into a host, and can easily be transfected with engineered DNA. MSC are essentially isolated from hematopoietic bone marrow (BM), a process that is rather invasive and may raise ethical concerns. In an attempt to find an alternative source, we evaluated whether non-hematopoietic (nh)BM recovered from femoral heads of patients undergoing hip arthroplasty contained MSC. Ex vivo, 99% of nhBM cells were CD45(+) leukocytes. After culture, leukocytes were replaced by a homogeneous layer of adherent CD45(-) CD14(-) CD34(-) CD11b(-) CD90(+) HLA-ABC(+) cells. Culture doubling time (mean = 4 days, range 1.6-6.7 days) was not correlated with patient age (27-81 years, n = 16). Amplified cultures supported long-term hematopoiesis, and could be differentiated in vitro into adipocytes and chondrocytes. Moreover, a small fraction of nhBM cells spontaneously expressed MyoD1 and formed myotubes, suggesting that myogenic differentiation also occurred. nhBM contained clonogenic cells whose frequency (1/13,000), doubling time (2.1 days), and maximal amplification (up to 10(6)-fold) were not age-related. All 14 clones analyzed (from five patients, ages 27-78 years) differentiated into at least one mesenchymal lineage, and 66% were bipotential (n = 8/12), or tripotential (n = 2/3). In conclusion, nhBM contains pluripotential mesenchymal progenitors which are similar to hematopoietic BM-derived MSC, and whose biological functions are not altered by aging. Furthermore, if MSC-based therapies hold their promises, nhBM may become the source of choice for responding to the increasing demand for MSC.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center