Evidence of specific characteristics and osteogenic potentiality in bone cells from Tibia

Cristina Manferdini, Elena Gabusi, Francesco Grassi, Anna Piacentini, Luca Cattini, Nicoletta Zini, Giuseppe Filardo, Andrea Facchini, Gina Lisignoli

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Human bone cells used for in vitro studies are mainly derived from bone marrow (BM) or trabecular bone (TB). There are no specific markers or procedures for isolation and growth of these cells. To validate the potentiality of these cells, we isolated human mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) and osteoblasts (OBs) from the tibial plateau of the same subject, grown in two different media (α-MEM and DMEM/F12) and analyzed for cell growth, proliferation, phenotype and osteogenic potential. We found that OBs grew well in both media tested, but MSCs were able to grow only in α-MEM medium. OBs in DMEM/F12 showed reduced proliferation capability and expressed a low level of alkaline phosphatase (AP), RUNX-2, osteocalcin (OC), bone sialoprotein (BSP), collagen type I (Col.I) compared with OBs in α-MEM but high level of collagen type XV (Col.XV). Compared with MSCs in α-MEM, OBs have an increased ability to proliferate and express more OC and BSP at molecular level but less AP, RUNX-2 and Col.I than MSCs. Time-course experiments to analyze the osteogenic potential of these cells showed that OBs were more efficient than MSCs. However, these cells obtained from tibial plateau showed a different trend of AP, OC and Col.I osteogenic markers compared to control MSCs from the iliac crest. This study shows that bone-adherent OBs grown in α-MEM medium are more efficient for osteogenic differentiation than BM MSCs and contribute to defining their phenotypic and functional characteristics, so providing a rationale for their use in bone tissue engineering or therapeutic purposes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2675-2682
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Cellular Physiology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Physiology


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