Send to

Choose Destination
Matrix Biol. 2010 Oct;29(8):657-63. doi: 10.1016/j.matbio.2010.08.008. Epub 2010 Sep 7.

Matrix remodeling as stem cell recruitment event: a novel in vitro model for homing of human bone marrow stromal cells to the site of injury shows crucial role of extracellular collagen matrix.

Author information

Children's Hospital, Boston, United States.


The goal of the present study was to devise an in vitro model suitable for investigations of the homing of mesenchymal stem cells to sites of injury. Such a model was designed on the basis of a "transwell" assay, with an insert seeded with human bone marrow stromal cells and a well with a desired cell type. To mimic physiological environment and to simulate "injury", cells in a well were maintained not only on tissue culture plastic but also on collagens I and IV, major matrix components in musculoskeletal and adipose tissues respectively, and subjected to a severe thermal stress. The results obtained showed a massive translocation of bone marrow stromal cells through the inserts' membrane toward the "injury" site. Unexpectedly, it emerged that collagen matrix is essential in producing such a migration. The results obtained suggest that upon injury cells secrete a substance which interacts with collagen matrix to produce a homing agent. The substance in question appears to be a protease and its interaction with the collagen matrix appears to be a digestion of the latter into fragments shown to be chemotactic. Both AEBSF, an inhibitor of serine proteases, and leupeptin, an inhibitor of cysteine proteases as well as of trypsin-like serine proteases, but not the broad spectrum MMP inhibitor marimastat, significantly inhibit the observed homing effect and this inhibition is not due to cytotoxicity. Moreover, immunoprecipitation of HTRA1, a trypsin-like serine protease known to be secreted by cells differentiating into all three major mesenchymal lineages and by stressed cells in general and shown to degrade a number of matrix proteins including collagen, significantly diminished the homing effect. The data suggest that this protease is a major contributor to the observed chemotaxis of bone marrow stromal cells. The present study indicates that collagen fragments can mediate the migration of bone marrow stromal cells. The results also suggest that, at least in musculoskeletal and in adipose tissues, matrix remodeling occurrences, usually closely associated with tissue remodeling, should also be regarded as potential stem cells recruitment events.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center