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Intra-Bone Marrow Administration of Mesenchymal Stem/Stromal Cells Is a Promising Approach for Treating Osteoporosis

Agata H1,2, Sumita Y1,3, Hidaka T2, Iwatake M3, Kagami H2,4, Asahina I1.

Stem Cells Int. 2019 Nov 12;2019:4214281. doi: 10.1155/2019/4214281. eCollection 2019.


Mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (MSCs) are known to be useful for treating local bone diseases. However, it is not known if MSCs are effective for treating systemic bone diseases, as the risk for mortality following intravenous MSC administration has hindered research progress. In this study, we compared the safety and efficacy of intra-bone marrow and intravenous administration of MSCs for the treatment of ovariectomy- (OVX-) induced osteoporosis. Cells capable of forming bone were isolated from the murine compact bones and expanded in culture. Relatively pure MSCs possessing increased potential for cell proliferation, osteogenic differentiation, and inhibition of osteoclastogenesis were obtained by magnetic-activated cell sorting with the anti-Sca-1 antibody. Sca-1-sorted MSCs were administered to OVX mice, which were sacrificed 1 month later. We observed that 22% of the mice died after intravenous administration, whereas none of the mice died after intra-bone marrow administration. With respect to efficacy, intravenous administration improved bone mineral density (BMD) by increasing bone mineral content without affecting bone thickness, whereas intra-bone marrow administration improved BMD by increasing both bone mineral content and bone thickness. These results indicate that intra-bone marrow administration of pure MSCs is a safer and more effective approach for treating osteoporosis.