Proliferation and differentiation potential of human adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells isolated from elderly patients with osteoporotic fractures

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Aging has less effect on adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (ADSCs) than on bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs), but whether the fact holds true in stem cells from elderly patients with osteoporotic fractures is unknown. In this study, ADSCs and BMSCs of the same donor were harvested and divided into two age groups. Group A consisted of 14 young patients (36.4 ± 11.8 years old), and group B consisted of eight elderly patients (71.4 ± 3.6 years old) with osteoporotic fractures. We found that the doubling time of ADSCs from both age groups was maintained below 70 hrs, while that of BMSCs increased significantly with the number of passage. When ADSCs and BMSCs from the same patient were compared, there was a significant increase in the doubling time of BMSCs in each individual from passages 3 to 6. On osteogenic induction, the level of matrix mineralization of ADSCs from group B was comparable to that of ADSCs from group A, whereas BMSCs from group B produced least amount of mineral deposits and had a lower expression level of osteogenic genes. The p21 gene expression and senescence-associated β-galactosidase activity were lower in ADSCs compared to BMSCs, which may be partly responsible for the greater proliferation and differentiation potential of ADSCs. It is concluded that the proliferation and osteogenic differentiation of ADSCs were less affected by age and multiple passage than BMSCs, suggesting that ADSCs may become a potentially effective therapeutic option for cell-based therapy, especially in elderly patients with osteoporosis.

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