Effect of donor age and 3D-cultivation on osteogenic differentiation capacity of adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells

Stephan Payr*, Tim Schuseil, Marina Unger, Claudine Seeliger, Thomas Tiefenboeck, Elizabeth R Balmayor, Martijn van Griensven

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Age and co-morbidities compromise healing tendencies of traumatic fractures in geriatric patients. Non-healing fractures may need regenerative medicine techniques involving autologous mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). Donor age may affect the viability and differentiation capacity of MSCs. We investigated age-related differences in adipose-derived MSCs (AMSCs) concerning osteogenic potential in 2D and 3D cultivation.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: AMSCs were harvested from young (mean age: 37.5 ± 8.6 years) and old (mean age: 75.8 ± 9.2 years) patients. Cells were induced to osteogenic differentiation and cultivated in 2D and 3D for 14 days. Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity, mineralization and gene expression were investigated.

RESULTS: ALP activity revealed highest levels in 3D of old AMSCs after 14 days. ALP expression showed significant rises in old vs. young cells in 2D (p = 0.0024). Osteoprotegerin revealed the highest levels in old AMSCs in 2D. Highest osteocalcin levels presented in young cells compared to old cells in 2D (p = 0.0258) and young cells in 3D (p = 0.0014).

CONCLUSION: 3D arrangement of old AMSCs without growth factors is not ensuring superior osteogenesis in vitro. AMSCs, especially cells from older patients, reveal higher osteogenic potential in 2D than in 3D. 3D arrangement favors osteogenic potential of young cells.

Original languageEnglish
Article number10408
Number of pages7
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jun 2020


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