Comparative study of mesenchymal stem cells derived from bone marrow and Wharton’s Jelly and the interaction with natural biomaterials
Adult mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are non-hematopoietic stromal cells that can be easily isolated from bone marrow’s (BM) micro-enviroment and from the connective tissue surrounding umbilical cord vessels, namely Wharton's jelly (WJ). BM-MSCs and WJ-MSCs display typical MSC characteristics but a comparative study is lacking. Because they are culture-dish adherent, they can be expanded in culture while maintaining their trilineage differentiation potential to adipocytes, osteoblasts and chondrocytes.
MSCs were induced to differentiate in vitro to adipocytes and osteoblasts using appropriate culture media. MSC differentiation was assessed with cytochemical stains (Oil Red-O for adipocytic, and Alizarin Red/Von Kossa for osteoblastic differentiation). MSCs are identified by the expression of many molecules including CD73, CD90, and CD105 and are negative for the hematopoietic markers CD45, and CD14.
The multipotency of MSCs, the ease of isolation and proliferation ex vivo and immunosuppressive properties define them an attractive field of study and potential candidates for regenerative medicine. Their great immunomodulatory potential together with natural biodegradable, biocompatible and non-toxic materials can develop 3D scaffolds in vitro for many applications of tissue engineering. This work focuses on the biology of MSCs, including their differentiation and proliferation potential in vitro, gene expression of specific osteocytic and adipocytic factors, and an attempt of combining MSCs with natural materials as scaffolds. Chitosan and gelatin composite scaffolds with regard to stem-cell-based tissue engineering are described.