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PLoS One. 2013 Aug 8;8(8):e71318. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0071318. eCollection 2013.

Osterix-cre labeled progenitor cells contribute to the formation and maintenance of the bone marrow stroma.

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Department of Reconstructive Sciences, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, Connecticut, United States of America.


We have carried out fate mapping studies using Osterix-EGFPCre and Osterix-CreERt animal models and found Cre reporter expression in many different cell types that make up the bone marrow stroma. Constitutive fate mapping resulted in the labeling of different cellular components located throughout the bone marrow, whereas temporal fate mapping at E14.5 resulted in the labeling of cells within a region of the bone marrow. The identity of cell types marked by constitutive and temporal fate mapping included osteoblasts, adipocytes, vascular smooth muscle, perineural, and stromal cells. Prolonged tracing of embryonic precursors labeled at E14.5dpc revealed the continued existence of their progeny up to 10 months of age, suggesting that fate mapped, labeled embryonic precursors gave rise to long lived bone marrow progenitor cells. To provide further evidence for the marking of bone marrow progenitors, bone marrow cultures derived from Osterix-EGFPCre/Ai9 mice showed that stromal cells retained Cre reporter expression and yielded a FACS sorted population that was able to differentiate into osteoblasts, adipocytes, and chondrocytes in vitro and into osteoblasts, adipocytes, and perivascular stromal cells after transplantation. Collectively, our studies reveal the developmental process by which Osterix-Cre labeled embryonic progenitors give rise to adult bone marrow progenitors which establish and maintain the bone marrow stroma.

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