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Stem Cells International
Volume 2018, Article ID 6869128, 14 pages
Research Article

Isolation and Characterisation of Mesenchymal Stem Cells from Rat Bone Marrow and the Endosteal Niche: A Comparative Study

1Oral and Biomedical Sciences, School of Dentistry and Cardiff Institute Tissue Engineering and Repair, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK
2School of Dental Sciences, University Sains Malaysia, Kelantan, Malaysia

Correspondence should be addressed to Rachel J. Waddington;

Received 4 August 2017; Revised 20 October 2017; Accepted 5 November 2017; Published 22 March 2018

Academic Editor: Kequan Guo

Copyright © 2018 Norhayati Yusop 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.


Within bone, mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) exist within the bone marrow stroma (BM-MSC) and the endosteal niche, as cells lining compact bone (CB-MSCs). This study isolated and characterised heterogeneous MSC populations from each niche and subsequently investigated the effects of extensive cell expansion, analysing population doublings (PDs)/cellular senescence, colony-forming efficiencies (CFEs), MSC cell marker expression, and osteogenic/adipogenic differentiation. CB-MSCs and BM-MSCs demonstrated similar morphologies and PDs, reaching 100 PDs. Both populations exhibited consistent telomere lengths (12–17 kb), minimal senescence, and positive telomerase expression. CB-MSCs (PD15) had significantly lower CFEs than PD50. CB-MSCs and BM-MSCs both expressed MSC (CD73/CD90/CD105); embryonic (Nanog) and osteogenic markers (Runx2, osteocalcin) but no hematopoietic markers (CD45). CB-MSCs (PD15) strongly expressed Oct4 and p16INK4A. At early PDs, CB-MSCs possessed a strong osteogenic potency and low potency for adipogenesis, whilst BM-MSCs possessed greater overall bipotentiality for osteogenesis and adipogenesis. At PD50, CB-MSCs demonstrated reduced potency for both osteogenesis and adipogenesis, compared to BM-MSCs at equivalent PDs. This study demonstrates similarities in proliferative and mesenchymal cell characteristics between CB-MSCs and BM-MSCs, but contrasting multipotentiality. Such findings support further comparisons of human CB-MSCs and BM-MSCs, facilitating selection of optimal MSC populations for regenerative medicine purposes.