We isolated and expanded BMSCs from human alveolar/jaw bone at a high success rate (70%). These cells had potent osteogenic potential in vitro and in vivo, although their chondrogenic and adipogenic potential was less than that of iliac cells. Introduction: Human bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) have osteogenic, chondrogenic, and adipogenic potential, but marrow aspiration from iliac crest is an invasive procedure. Alveolar BMSCs may be more useful for regenerative medicine, because the marrow can be aspirated from alveolar bone with minimal pain. Materials and Methods: In this study, alveolar bone marrow samples were obtained from 41 patients, 6-66 years of age, during the course of oral surgery. BMSCs were seeded and maintained in culture with 10% FBS and basic fibroblast growth factor. In addition, BMSCs were induced to differentiate into osteoblasts, chondrocytes, or adipocytes in appropriate medium. Results and Conclusion: From a small volume (0.1-3 ml) of aspirates, alveolar BMSCs expanded at a success ratio of 29/41 (70%). The success rate decreased with increasing donor age, perhaps because of age-dependent decreases in the number and proliferative capacity of BMSCs. The expanded BMSCs differentiated into osteoblasts under osteogenic conditions in 21-28 days: the mRNA levels of osteocalcin, osteopontin, and bone sialoprotein, along with the calcium level, in alveolar BMSC cultures were similar to those in iliac cultures. However, unlike iliac BMSC, alveolar BMSC showed poor chondrogenic or adipogenic potential, and similar differences were observed between canine alveolar and iliac BMSCs. Subsequently, human alveolar BMSCs attached to β-tricalcium phosphate were transplanted into immunodeficient mice. In transplants, new bone formed with osteoblasts and osteocytes that expressed human vimentin, human osteocalcin, and human GAPDH. These findings suggest that BMSCs have distinctive features depending on their in vivo location and that alveolar BMSCs will be useful in cell therapy for bone diseases.
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