, Volume 355, Issue 2, pp 327-335
Date: 21 Nov 2013

Evaluation of an in vivo heterotopic model of osteogenic differentiation of equine bone marrow and muscle mesenchymal stem cells in fibrin glue scaffold

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Autologous mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been used as a potential cell-based therapy in various animal and human diseases. Their differentiation capacity makes them useful as a novel strategy in the treatment of tissue injury in which the healing process is compromised or delayed. In horses, bone healing is slow, taking a minimum of 6–12 months. The osteogenic capacity of equine bone marrow and muscle MSCs mixed with fibrin glue or phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) as a scaffold is assessed. Bone production by the following groups was compared: Group 1, bone marrow (BM) MSCs in fibrin glue; Group 2, muscle (M) MSCs in fibrin glue; Group 3, BM MSCs in PBS; Group 4, M MSCs in PBS and as a control; Group 5, fibrin glue without cells. BM and M MSCs underwent osteogenic stimulation for 48 h prior to being injected intramuscularly into nude mice. After 4 weeks, the mice were killed and muscle samples were collected and evaluated for bone formation and mineralization by using radiology, histochemistry and immunohistochemistry. Positive bone formation and mineralization were confirmed in Group 1 in nude mice based on calcium deposition and the presence of osteocalcin and collagen type I; in addition, a radiopaque area was observed on radiographs. However, no evidence of mineralization or bone formation was observed in Groups 2–5. In this animal model, equine BM MSCs mixed with fibrin glue showed better osteogenic differentiation capacity compared with BM MSCs in PBS and M MSCs in either carrier.

This project was supported by an Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency grant.