Overexpression of insulin-like growth factor 1 enhanced the osteogenic capability of aging bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells

Ching Yun Chen, Kuo Yun Tseng, Yen Liang Lai, Yo Shen Chen, Feng Huei Lin, Shankung Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Many studies have indicated that loss of the osteoblastogenic potential in bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (bmMSCs) is the major component in the etiology of the aging-related bone deficit. But how the bmMSCs lose osteogenic capability in aging is unclear. Using 2-dimentional cultures, we examined the dose response of human bmMSCs, isolated from adult and aged donors, to exogenous insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), a growth factor regulating bone formation. The data showed that the mitogenic activity and the osteoblastogenic potential of bmMSCs in response to IGF-1 were impaired with aging, whereas higher doses of IGF-1 increased the proliferation rate and osteogenic potential of aging bmMSCs. Subsequently, we seeded IGF-1-overexpressing aging bmMSCs into calcium-alginate scaffolds and incubated in a bioreactor with constant perfusion for varying time periods to examine the effect of IGF-1 overexpression to the bone-forming capability of aging bmMSCs. We found that IGF-1 overexpression in aging bmMSCs facilitated the formation of cell clusters in scaffolds, increased the cell survival inside the cell clusters, induced the expression of osteoblast markers, and enhanced the biomineralization of cell clusters. These results indicated that IGF-1 overexpression enhanced cells' osteogenic capability. Thus, our data suggest that the aging-related loss of osteogenic potential in bmMSCs can be attributed in part to the impairment in bmMSCs' IGF-1 signaling, and support possible application of IGF-1-overexpressing autologous bmMSCs in repairing bone defect of the elderly and in producing bone graft materials for repairing large scale bone injury in the elderly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1598-1611
Number of pages14
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2017


  • Aging-related bone loss
  • Bioreactor
  • Bone marrow MSC
  • IGF-1
  • Osteoporosis


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