Variability of bone cell gene expression as a criterion to determine osteogenic capability of human mesenchymal stem cells
Lowry, Gabriela Juliet
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Osteoporosis is a skeletal disorder characterized by decreased BMD and the increased prospect of fracture. These fractures can have a detrimental impact on an individual’s standard of living and are sometimes fatal. Increased bone resorption by osteoclasts relative to the bone formation by osteoblasts triggers osteoporosis. Osteoporosis predominantly affects post-menopausal white and Asian women. BMD is used to diagnose this disease and determine fracture risks; however, osteoporosis often goes unreported and untreated. The purpose of this study was to correlate biochemical assays of bone growth with each subject's cells' gene expression grown in culture. Bone samples were taken from each subject undergoing hip replacement surgery. Each subject’s bone cells were grown in culture then assayed for ALP and hydroxyproline. ALP and hydroxyproline were used as proxies of the osteogenic potential of the cultured cells. The assayed ALP for each subject was compared to COL1A1 RNA gene expression. Further, the hydroxyproline assay results were compared to DMP1 RNA gene expression. The results of this study did not signal a measurable association between any of these metrics. The genetic mechanisms of osteoporosis remain unclear, and advanced research to elucidate how cells’ behavior in culture is related to the underlying nature of the person’s BMD could result in better data to treat and prevent this disease.