In vitro osteogenesis from human skin-derived precursor cells

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Embryonic tissue and organ development are initiated from three embryonic germ layers: ectoderm (skin and neuron), mesoderm (blood, bone, muscle, cartilage and fat) and endoderm (respiratory and digestive tract). In former times, it was believed that cell types in each germ layer are specific and do not cross from one to another throughout life. A new finding is that one tissue lineage can differentiate across to another tissue lineage, and this is termed transdifferentiation. We were interested in studying the transdifferentiation of skin-derived precursor cells (ectoderm layer) to osteoblastic cells (mesoderm layer). Human skin-derived precursor cells (hSKP) were isolated and induced into an osteoblastic lineage using osteogenic induction medium (α-MEM plus 10% fetal bovine serum supplemented with ascorbic acid, β-glycerophosphate and dexamethasone). The specific characteristics of osteoblastic cells, including the expression of enzyme alkaline phosphatase, the deposition of mineral and the expression of osterix, bone sialoprotein and osteocalcin, were detected only from the inductive group. The results in our study show that SKP from human skin are a practically available source for osteogenesis. The samples are easily obtainable for autologous use with a high expansion capacity.

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