IN VITRO HUMAN ADULT MESENCHYMAL STEM CELLS DIFFERENTIATION STUDY
1Ahmed T Abd Elaziz, 2Mohamed Elnahaas
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 tissue 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 capacity to differentiate into tissues of both mesenchymal and non-mesenchymal origin. Research has shown the importance of growth factors 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, chondrogenic, 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 confluence 80-90%. Confluent MSCs were differentiated into osteoblasts, chondrocytes, hepatocyte-like cells and β-islets of pancreas like cells. This evidence was achieved by addition of several growth factors to confluent MSCs that enhanced their differentiation. We investigated the morphological changes, specific histological staining of differentiated MSCs and gene expression of osteoblasts, chondrocytes, hepatocyte and β-islets of pancreas-specific markers. Results: MSCs morphologically changed from undifferentiated shape to differentiated osteoblasts, chondrocytes, hepatocyte and β-islets of pancreas. 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 osteoblasts, chondrocyes, hepatocyte and β-islets of pancreas respectively. Conclusion: Human MSCs can be differentiated into partially functional osteoblasts, chondrocytes, hepatocyte-like cells and β-islets of pancreas. Thus, they could be a potential source for cell therapy in medical disorders. Ultimately, there is a need for randomised controlled trials on human populations to apply these findings to a clinical setting.