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Transplant Proc. 2013 Oct;45(8):3118-21. doi: 10.1016/j.transproceed.2013.07.052.

Novel supplier of mesenchymal stem cell: subacromial bursa.

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Laboratory for Stem-Cell and Regenerative Medicine, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, CM General Hospital, Youngdeungpo-dong, Youngdeungpo-gu, Seoul, Korea.


Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are multipotent stromal elements that can differentiate into a variety of cell types. MSCs are good sources of therapeutic cells for degenerative diseases. For these reason, many researchers have focused on searching for other sources of MSCs. To obtain MSCs for clinical use requires surgery of the donor that therefore can induce donor morbidity, since the common sources at present are bone marrow and adipose tissues. In this study, we investigated the existence of MSCs in postoperative discarded tissues. Subacromial bursal tissues were obtained from the shoulders of 3 injured patients. The cells from the bursa tissues were isolated through treatment with collagenase. The isolated cells were then seeded and expanded by serial passaging under normal culture system. To evaluate MSC characteristics of the cells, their MSC markers were confirmed by mRNA and protein expression. Multipotent ability was assessed using differentiation media and immunohistochemistry. Cells from the bursa expressed MSCs markers-CD29, CD73, CD90, and PDGFRB (platelet-derived growth factor receptor-beta). Moreover, as to their multipotency, bursal cells differentiated into adipocytes (fat cells), osteocytes (bone cells), and chondrocytes (cartilage cells). In summary, we showed that MSCs could be generated from the subacromial bursa, which is medical waste after surgery.

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