Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) are multipotent cells which can be induced to differentiate into various types of cells. The most popular source of MSCs is bone marrow. However, some cells obtained from adipose tissue may have potential to grow into bone and cartilage [Zuk P.A. et al. Tissue Engineering 7: 2001, 211-225], and thus, this type of tissue can be a promising source of cells for tissue engineering, especially that collecting adipose tissue is less invasive and less painful for patients when compared to bone marrow.
The aim of the experiment was to determine if omentum-isolated cells can reach the osteogenic potential in vitro in the presence of different biomaterials used for bone reconstruction. Human cells obtained from omentum major were used. Human bone harvested cells served as a control. Cells were cultured on various biomaterials, ie.: steel, titanium, aluminium oxide, hydroxyapatite and polystyrene, in a culture medium with ascorbic acid and in the same medium supplemented with dexamethasone. Cells were cultured for 7 days under standard conditions. Alkaline phosphatase (AP) activity was measured as an indicator of osteogenic potential of cells.
AP activity was enhanced significantly in response to dexamethasone in all analyzed groups. This effect was dependent on biomaterial used as a support.
The results support the expectation that omentum-isolated cells can differentiate into osteoblast-like cells, although further experiments are needed for confirmation. The cells dependence on support during differentiation should be taken into account when cells are to be used in biomaterial scaffolds as tissue engineered implants.
Acknowledgment: This work was supported by the State Committee of Scientific Research (grant No. 05/PBZ-KBN-082/2002/06).