Background: Transplantation of human bone marrow stromal cells (hBMSCs) is a promising therapy for bone regeneration due to their ability to differentiate into bone forming osteoblastic cells. However, transplanted hBMSCs exhibit variable capacity for bone formation resulting in inconsistent clinical outcome. The aim of the study was to identify a set of donor- and cell-related characteristics that detect hBMSCs with optimal osteoblastic differentiation capacity.

Methods: We collected hBMSCs from 58 patients undergoing surgery for bone fracture. Clinical profile of the donors and in vitro characteristics of cultured hBMSCs were included in uni- and multivariable analysis to determine their predictive value for osteoblastic versus adipocytic differentiation capacity assessed by quantification of mineralized matrix and mature adipocyte formation, respectively.

Results: We identified a signature that explained > 50% of variation in osteoblastic differentiation outcome which included the following positive predictors: donor sex (male), absence of osteoporosis diagnosis, intake of vitamin D supplements, higher fraction of CD146+, and alkaline phosphate (ALP+) cells. With the exception of vitamin D and ALP+ cells, these variables were also negative predictors of adipocytic differentiation.

Conclusions: Using a combination of clinical and cellular criteria, it is possible to predict differentiation outcome of hBMSCs. This signature may be helpful in selecting donor cells in clinical trials of bone regeneration.
Original languageEnglish
Article number265
JournalStem Cell Research and Therapy
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 3. May 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).


  • CD markers
  • Cell phenotype
  • Donor characteristics
  • Human bone marrow stromal stem cells
  • Osteoblastic and adipocytic differentiation


Dive into the research topics of 'Identification of a clinical signature predictive of differentiation fate of human bone marrow stromal cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this