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Bone Miner. 1988 Sep;4(4):373-86.

Osteogenesis in in vivo diffusion chamber cultures of human marrow cells.

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  • 1Division of Oral Pathology, Hebrew University-Hadassah Faculty of Dental Medicine, Jerusalem, Israel.


The osteogenic diffusion chamber culture of rodent marrow cells is a well established system. In the present study, marrow cells from children and adult human donors were incubated in diffusion chambers implanted intraperitoneally in athymic mice. After 4 or 8 weeks, the chamber content was examined by light and electron microscopy. Child-cell cultures showed osteogenic tissue consisting of a mineralizing fibrous component and cartilage. Ultrastructurally, the fibrous tissue was similar to osteoid and exhibited osteoblast-like cells and mineralizing nodules. Mineral aggregates were also found in the cartilage. These features in child-cell chambers were similar to those found in control chambers of rabbit marrow cells. Adult-cell chambers showed only unmineralized fibrous tissue. These results render previous findings in animal-cell diffusion chamber systems relevant to the understanding of bone formation in man. It is suggested that the difference between child- and adult-cell chambers reflects an age-related decline in the number of marrow osteoprogenitor cells or their potential to undergo terminal osteogenic differentiation.

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