Protocols for in vitro Differentiation of Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells into Osteogenic, Chondrogenic and Adipogenic Lineages

  • Maria Chiara Ciuffreda
  • Giuseppe Malpasso
  • Paola Musarò
  • Valentina Turco
  • Massimiliano GnecchiEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1416)


Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) possess high plasticity and the potential to differentiate into several different cell types; this characteristic has implications for cell therapy and reparative biotechnologies. MSC have been originally isolated from the bone marrow (BM-MSC), but they have been found also in other tissues such as adipose tissue, cord blood, synovium, skeletal muscle, and lung. MSC are able to differentiate in vitro and in vivo into several cell types such as bone, osteocytes, chondrocytes, adipocytes, and skeletal myocytes, just to name a few.

During the last two decades, an increasing number of studies have proven the therapeutic potential of MSC for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, spinal cord and brain injuries, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes mellitus, and diseases of the skeleton. Their immuno-privileged profile allows both autologous and allogeneic use. For all these reasons, the scientific appeal of MSC is constantly on the rise.

The identity of MSC is currently based on three main criteria: plastic-adherence capacity, defined epitope profile, and capacity to differentiate in vitro into osteocytes, chondrocytes, and adipocytes. Here, we describe standard protocols for the differentiation of BM-MSC into the osteogenic, chondrogenic, and adipogenic lineages.

Key words

Mesenchymal stem cells Bone marrow Adipocytes Chondrocytes Osteocytes 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria Chiara Ciuffreda
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Giuseppe Malpasso
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Paola Musarò
    • 2
    • 3
  • Valentina Turco
    • 2
    • 3
  • Massimiliano Gnecchi
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Molecular Medicine, Unit of CardiologyUniversity of PaviaPaviaItaly
  2. 2.Department of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Sciences – Coronary Care Unit and Laboratory of Clinical and Experimental CardiologyFondazione IRCCS Policlinico San MatteoPaviaItaly
  3. 3.Laboratory of Experimental Cardiology for Cell and Molecular TherapyFondazione IRCCS Policlinico San MatteoPaviaItaly
  4. 4.Department of MedicineUniversity of Cape TownCape TownSouth Africa

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