Morphological and functional characterization of femoral head drilling-derived mesenchymal stem cells

Vol. 55 No. 4, 2014


Romulus Fabian Tatu, Dan-Nelu Anusca, Sabine Stefania Groza, Laura Marusciac, Florina Maria Bojin, Carmen Tatu, Mihai Hurmuz, Virgil Paunescu

Adult mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) were primary identified as bone marrow-derived cells, fibroblast-like morphology, and adherent to plastic surfaces of in vitro culture plate. Their identification criteria evolved in time to a well-established panel of markers (expression of CD73, CD90, and CD105) and functional characteristics (adipogenic, osteogenic, and chondrogenic trilineage differentiation ability), which can be applied to adult mesenchymal stem cells obtained from other tissue sources. We tried to assess the potential stemness of femoral head drilling-derived cells as a new source of mesenchymal stem cells (FH-MSCs). For this purpose, we used the morphological and ultrastructural characteristics defined by scanning and transmission electron microscopy and spindle-shape cellular body, fibroblast-like, with few thick elongations (lamellipodia) and numerous fine, thin cytoplasmic projections (filopodia) that extend beyond the edge of lamellipodia. Immunophenotypical analysis was performed by flow cytometry and immunocytochemical methods and we showed that FH-MSCs share the characteristic markers of MSCs, expressing CD73, CD90, CD105, and being positive for vimentin, and c-kit (CD117). Proliferation rate of these cells was moderate, as revealed by Ki67 immunostaining. Regarding the functional characteristics of FH-MSCs, after appropriate time of induction in specific culture media, the cells were able to prove their trilineage potential and differentiated towards adipocytic, osteogenic, and chondrogenic lineage, as revealed by immunofluorescent staining. We may conclude that femoral head drilling-derived cells can be used as a novel source of stem cells, and employed in diverse clinical settings._x000D_

Corresponding author: Carmen Tatu, Associate Professor, MD, PhD; e-mail:

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