Isolation and Characterization of Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells From Facet Joints and Interspinous Ligaments


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Abstract

Study Design.A descriptive in vitro study on isolation and differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) derived from the facet joints and interspinous ligaments.Objective.To isolate cells from the facet joints and interspinous ligaments and investigate their surface marker profile and differentiation potentials.Summary of Background Data.Lumbar spinal canal stenosis and ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament are progressive conditions characterized by the hypertrophy and ossification of ligaments and joints within the spinal canal. MSCs are believed to play a role in the advancement of these diseases and the existence of MSCs has been demonstrated within the ligamentum flavum and posterior longitudinal ligament. The aim of this study was to investigate whether these cells could also be found within facet joints and interspinous ligaments.Methods.Samples were harvested from 10 patients undergoing spinal surgery. The MSCs from facet joints and interspinous ligaments were isolated using direct tissue explant technique. Cell surface antigen profilings were performed via flow cytometry. Their lineage differentiation potentials were analyzed.Results.The facet joints and interspinous ligaments-derived MSCs have the tri-lineage potential to be differentiated into osteogenic, adipogenic, and chondrogenic cells under appropriate inductions. Flow cytometry analysis revealed both cell lines expressed MSCs markers. Both facet joints and interspinous ligaments-derived MSCs expressed marker genes for osteoblasts, adipocytes, and chondrocytes.Conclusion.The facet joints and interspinous ligaments may provide alternative sources of MSCs for tissue engineering applications. The facet joints and interspinous ligaments-derived MSCs are part of the microenvironment of the human ligaments of the spinal column and might play a crucial role in the development and progression of degenerative spine conditions.Level of Evidence: N/A

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