Researchers find that extracellular vesicles derived from bone marrow stem cells can lead to osteoblast activation and bone regeneration.
While the idea of regenerating organs such as hearts, lungs and kidneys in the laboratory is still purely experimental and a long way from being used for treatment procedures in patients, everyday scientists are inching closer to that dream. This time, the success is with bone tissue re-engineering, as scientists discover that extracellular vesicles from bone marrow stem cells can regulate osteoblast activity and lead to bone regeneration.
Despite current stem cell research breakthroughs, the idea of tissue regeneration using stem cell treatments has been around for decades. The pluripotent characteristics of mesenchymal stem cells have given them an edge to differentiate into a wide variety of cells including osteoblasts, myoblasts, fibroblasts and chondrocytes. In case of bones, tissue regeneration plays an important role in healing destroyed bones due to infections or trauma. The most commonly used procedure includes using a scaffold or matrix in addition to chondrocytes or osteoblasts to fill in the damaged bones. Ideally, the cells would come from the same person to overcome immune rejection. Extracellular vesicles from bone marrow stem cells are thought to have regenerative powers as well but have not been tested in bone regeneration until recently.1
A study published in Scientific Reports showed that vesicles from stem cells help regenerate osteoblasts and bone. The researchers discovered that vesicles isolated from human bone marrow cells increase osteoblast activity. These vesicles controlled the osteoblast activity through the regulation of a microRNA, mir-196a. The researchers tested these vesicles in a rat model, where they filled holes in the rat bones with either gel matrix alone or gel matrix and isolated vesicles from stem cells. The holes that received the vesicles had more bone structure in them than controls, indicating that stem cells and associated isolated vesicles can be helpful in bone generation in individuals with bone defects.2
Here at HemaCare we provide human bone marrow stem cells that can be used to isolate extracellular vesicles to further test their role in bone regeneration. We will be following up on the role of these vesicles in tissue regeneration, as well as all advances in stem cell research, with great excitement. You can call us at (877) 397-3087 if you have any questions or would like to place an order.
1 Smrke D. et al. 2013. Treatments of Bone Defects – Allogenic Platelet Gel and Autologous Bone Technique. Intech DOI: 10.5772/55987
2 Qin Y. et al. 2016. Bone marrow stromal/stem cell derived extracellular vesicles regulate osteoblast activity and differentiation in vitro and promote bone regeneration in vivo. Scientific Reports DOI: 10.1038/srep21961