eCM (Eur Cell Mater / e Cells & Materials) Not-for-profit Open Access
Created by Scientists, for Scientists
 ISSN:1473-2262         NLM:100973416 (link)         DOI:10.22203/eCM

2018   Volume No 35 – pages 165-177

Title: The osteo-inductive activity of bone-marrow-derived mononuclear cells resides within the CD14+ population and is independent of the CD34+ population

Authors: D Henrich, C Seebach, R Verboket, A Schaible, I Marzi, H Bonig

Address:  Department of Trauma, Hand and Reconstructive Surgery, University Hospital Frankfurt, Theodor Stern-Kai 7, Frankfurt am Main, Germany

E-mail: d.henrich at

Abstract: Bone marrow mononuclear cells (BMC) seeded on a scaffold of β-tricalcium phosphate (β-TCP) promote bone healing in a critical-size femur defect model. Being BMC a mixed population of predominantly mature haematopoietic cells, which cell type(s) is(are) instrumental for healing remains elusive. Although clinical therapies using BMC are often dubbed as stem cell therapies, whether stem cells are relevant for the therapeutic effects is unclear and, at least in the context of bone repair, seems dubious. Instead, in light of the critical contribution of monocytes and macrophages to tissue development, homeostasis and injury repair, in the current study it was hypothesised that BMC-mediated bone healing derived from the stem cell population. To test this hypothesis, bone remodelling studies were performed in an established athymic rats critical-size femoral defect model, with β-TCP scaffolds augmented with complete BMC or BMC immunomagnetically depleted of stem cells (CD34+) or monocytes/macrophages (CD14+). Bone healing was assessed 8 weeks after transplantation. Compared to BMC-augmented controls, when CD14− BMC, but not CD34− BMC were transplanted into the bone defect, femora possessed dramatically decreased biomechanical stability and new bone formation was markedly reduced, as measured by histology. The degree of vascularisation did not differ between the two groups. It was concluded that the monocyte fraction within the BMC provided critical osteo-inductive cues during fracture healing. Which factors were responsible at the molecular levels remained elusive. However, this study marked a significant progress towards elucidating the mechanisms by which BMC elicit their therapeutic effects, at least in bone regeneration.

Key Words: Bone marrow mononuclear cells, monocytes, CD14, CD34, bone healing.

Publication date: March 6th 2018

Article download: Pages 165-177 (PDF file)

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