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Mesenchymal Stem Cells Offer Hope for Repairing Tissue

Periosteal stem cells isolated from human donor bone may regenerate mesenchymal tissue

FRIDAY, March 31 (HealthDay News) -- Multipotent mesenchymal stem cells can be isolated from human bone periosteum and used to regenerate bone, muscle and cartilage in animal models, according to a report published online March 30 in Arthritis & Rheumatism. The technique allows for expansion of stem cells and may provide an alternative to bone marrow.

Cosimo De Bari, M.D., Ph.D., of King's College London School of Medicine, and colleagues derived periosteal cells from the proximal tibia of adult human donors within 12 hours of their death. After clonal expansion, the authors tested whether the cells could differentiate into various tissues in vitro and regenerate muscle and bone in mice, or cartilage in goats.

The authors found that the cells displayed stem cell properties including, telomerase activity and unique marker expression, and could be expanded by at least 30 population doublings. In addition, the cells could be triggered to differentiate into muscle, bone, adipocyte tissue or cartilage in vitro. After being injected into live animals, the cells could regenerate various mesenchymal tissues to some extent.

"Our study demonstrates that, regardless of donor age, the adult human periosteum contains cells that, upon enzymatic release and culture expansion, are multipotent mesenchymal stem cells at the single cell level," the authors conclude.

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