Ovine bone- and marrow-derived progenitor cells and their potential for scaffold-based bone tissue engineering applications in vitro and in vivo.

Johannes C. Reichert, Maria A. Woodruff, Thor Friis, Verena M C Quent, Stan Gronthos, Georg N. Duda, Michael A. Schütz, Dietmar W. Hutmacher

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36 Citations (Scopus)


Recently, research has focused on bone marrow derived multipotent mesenchymal precursor cells (MPC) and osteoblasts (OB) for clinical use in bone engineering. Prior to clinical application, cell based treatment concepts need to be evaluated in preclinical, large animal models. Sheep in particular are considered a valid model for orthopaedic and trauma related research. However, only sheep aged > 6 years show secondary osteon formation characteristic of human bone. Osteogenic cells isolated from animals of this age group remain poorly characterized. In the present study, ex vivo expanded MPC isolated from ovine bone marrow proliferated at a higher rate than OB derived from tibial compact bone as assessed in standard 2D cultures. MPC expressed the respective phenotypic profile typical for different mesenchymal cell populations (CD14(-)/CD31(-)/CD45(-)/CD29(+)/CD44(+)/CD166(+)) and showed a multilineage differentiation potential. When compared to OB, MPC had a higher mineralization potential under standard osteogenic culture conditions and expressed typical bone related markers such as osteocalcin, osteonectin and type I collagen at the mRNA and protein level. After 4 weeks in 3D culture, MPC constructs demonstrated higher cell density and mineralization, whilst cell viability on the scaffolds was assessed > 90%. Cells displayed a spindle-like morphology and formed interconnected networks. In contrast, when implanted subcutaneously into NOD/SCID mice, MPC presented a lower osteogenic potential than OB. In summary, this study provides a detailed characterisation of ovine MPC and OB from a bone engineering perspective and suggests that MPC and OB provide promising means for future bone disease related treatment applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)565-576
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished or Issued - Oct 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering

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