IN VITRO HUMAN ADULT MESENCHYMAL STEM CELLS DIFFERENTIATION STUDY
Ahmed T Abd Elaziz1, Mohamed Elnahaas2
1Medical Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Department, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, 2Orthopedic Department, Faculty of Medicine, Al-Azhar University
Background: Stem cell therapy is an exciting and upcoming branch of tis- sue engineering with application in different fields of medicine. The most commonly used type of stem cells, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), can be easily isolated from bone marrow and cultured in vitro. MSCs are non- hematopoietic stem cells with the ca- pacity to differentiate into tissues of both mesenchymal and non- mesenchymal origin. Research has shown the importance of growth fac- tors in guiding and modulating the differentiation of MSCs in order to obtain the required cell type. Aim of work: We aimed to investigate the differentiation potential of bone marrow MSCs into osteoblastic, chon- drogenic, hepatocyte-like cells and β- islets of pancreas like cells. Methods: Human bone marrow MSCs from a healthy donor were cultured in vitro and propagated to reach conflu- ence 80-90%. Confluent MSCs were differentiated into osteoblasts, chon- drocytes, hepatocyte-like cells and β- islets of pancreas like cells. This evi- dence was achieved by addition of sev- eral growth factors to confluent MSCs that enhanced their differentiation. We investigated the morphological changes, specific histological staining of differentiated MSCs and gene ex- pression of osteoblasts, chondrocytes, hepatocyte and β-islets of pancreas- specific markers. Results: MSCs morphologically changed from undifferentiated shape to differentiated osteoblasts, chondro- cytes, hepatocyte and β-islets of pan- creas. Differentiation confirmed by osteoblasts staining with Alzarin red, chondrocytes staining with Alcian blue and β-islets of pancreas staining with Ditizone. Specific genes expression for osteonectin, collagen II, albumin and insulin were detected to confirm osteo- blasts, chondrocyes, hepatocyte and β- islets of pancreas respectively. Conclu- sion: Human MSCs can be differenti- ated into partially functional osteo- blasts, chondrocytes, hepatocyte-like cells and β-islets of pancreas. Thus, they could be a potential source for cell therapy in medical disorders. Ulti- mately, there is a need for randomised controlled trials on human popula- tions to apply these findings to a clini- cal setting.