Cell and tissue research

Phenotypic characterization of craniofacial bone marrow stromal cells: unique properties of enhanced osteogenesis, cell recruitment, autophagy, and apoptosis resistance.

PMID 24927919


Previous studies have shown that craniofacial bone marrow stromal cells (MSCs) have greater osteogenic potential than appendicular bone MSCs. However, detailed phenotypic characterization of MSCs from bone marrow in the different sites remains unclear. To investigate bone repair and regeneration of craniofacial MSCs and the regulatory mechanisms underlying their unique properties, we compared osteogenesis, cell recruitment, autophagy, and apoptosis resistance of MSCs from the mandible (M-MSCs) to those from tibia (T-MSCs) in vitro and in vivo. Compared with T-MSCs, M-MSCs formed more colonies, possessed stronger proliferation activity, exhibited higher expression of pluripotency genes such as Oct4 and Nanog, and held stronger osteogenic differentiation in osteogenic medium. Moreover, M-MSCs had greater autophagy and anti-apoptotic capacities than T-MSCs under hypoxia and serum deprivation conditions. M-MSCs were found to be more capable of recruiting more MSCs than T-MSCs. When these MSCs were transplanted into mandible critical-sized defects, more bone formed in the M-MSC-treated animals than in their T-MSC counterparts. Collectively, these findings reveal that MSCs have unique characteristics and bone-repairing properties from the mandible as compared with those from tibia, presumably by enhanced osteogenic potential, cell recruitment, autophagy and apoptosis resistance.