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Stem Cells International
Volume 2016, Article ID 4851081, 12 pages
Research Article

Human Amnion-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells Promote Osteogenic Differentiation in Human Bone Marrow Mesenchymal Stem Cells by Influencing the ERK1/2 Signaling Pathway

Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Oral Diseases, Nanjing Medical University, No. 140, Han Zhong Road, Nanjing, Jiangsu 210029, China

Received 29 March 2015; Revised 8 July 2015; Accepted 8 July 2015

Academic Editor: Boon Chin Heng

Copyright © 2016 Yuli Wang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Human amnion-derived mesenchymal stem cells (HAMSCs) are considered to be an important resource in the field of tissue engineering because of their anti-inflammatory properties and fewer ethical issues associated with their use compared with other sources of stem cells. HAMSCs can be obtained from human amniotic membranes, a readily available and abundant tissue. However, the potential of HAMSCs as seed cells for treating bone deficiency is unknown. In this study, HAMSCs were used to promote proliferation and osteoblastic differentiation in human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (HBMSCs) in a Transwell coculture system. Proliferation levels were investigated by flow cytometry and immunofluorescence staining of 5-ethynyl-2′-deoxyuridine (EdU). Osteoblastic differentiation and mineralization were evaluated in chromogenic alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity substrate assays, Alizarin red S staining, and RT-PCR analysis of early HBMSCs osteogenic marker expression. We demonstrated that HAMSCs stimulated increased alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity, mRNA expression of osteogenic marker genes, and mineralized matrix deposition. Moreover, the effect of HAMSCs was significantly inhibited by U0126, a highly selective inhibitor of extracellular signaling-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) signaling. We demonstrate that HAMSCs promote osteogenic differentiation in HBMSCs by influencing the ERK1/2 signaling pathway. These observations confirm the potential of HAMSCs as a seed cell for the treatment of bone deficiency.