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Theranostics. 2017 Apr 10;7(6):1598-1611. doi: 10.7150/thno.16637. eCollection 2017.

Overexpression of Insulin-Like Growth Factor 1 Enhanced the Osteogenic Capability of Aging Bone Marrow Mesenchymal Stem Cells.

Chen CY1,2, Tseng KY3, Lai YL2,4, Chen YS1,5, Lin FH1,2, Lin S3,6.

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Institute of Biomedical Engineering, College of Medicine and College of Engineering, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan (R.O.C.).
Institute of Biomedical Engineering and Nanomedicine (I-BEN), National Health Research Institutes, Miaoli, Taiwan (R.O.C.).
Institute of Cellular and System Medicine, National Health Research Institutes, Miaoli, Taiwan (R.O.C.).
Ph.D. Program in Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, National Chung Hsing University, Taichung, Taiwan (R.O.C.).
Department of Plastic Surgery, Far Eastern Memorial Hospital, New Taipei City, Taiwan (R.O.C.).
Graduate Institute of Basic Medical Science, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan (R.O.C.).


Many studies have indicated that loss of the osteoblastogenic potential in bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (bmMSCs) is the major component in the etiology of the aging-related bone deficit. But how the bmMSCs lose osteogenic capability in aging is unclear. Using 2-dimentional cultures, we examined the dose response of human bmMSCs, isolated from adult and aged donors, to exogenous insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), a growth factor regulating bone formation. The data showed that the mitogenic activity and the osteoblastogenic potential of bmMSCs in response to IGF-1 were impaired with aging, whereas higher doses of IGF-1 increased the proliferation rate and osteogenic potential of aging bmMSCs. Subsequently, we seeded IGF-1-overexpressing aging bmMSCs into calcium-alginate scaffolds and incubated in a bioreactor with constant perfusion for varying time periods to examine the effect of IGF-1 overexpression to the bone-forming capability of aging bmMSCs. We found that IGF-1 overexpression in aging bmMSCs facilitated the formation of cell clusters in scaffolds, increased the cell survival inside the cell clusters, induced the expression of osteoblast markers, and enhanced the biomineralization of cell clusters. These results indicated that IGF-1 overexpression enhanced cells' osteogenic capability. Thus, our data suggest that the aging-related loss of osteogenic potential in bmMSCs can be attributed in part to the impairment in bmMSCs' IGF-1 signaling, and support possible application of IGF-1-overexpressing autologous bmMSCs in repairing bone defect of the elderly and in producing bone graft materials for repairing large scale bone injury in the elderly.


IGF-1; aging-related bone loss; bioreactor.; bone marrow MSC; osteoporosis

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