Induction of fracture repair by mesenchymal cells derived from human embryonic stem cells or bone marrow

Anita Undale, Daniel Fraser, Theresa Hefferan, Ross A. Kopher, James Herrick, Glenda L. Evans, Xiaodong Li, Sanjeev Kakar, Meredith Hayes, Elizabeth Atkinson, Michael J. Yaszemski, Dan S. Kaufman, Jennifer J. Westendorf, Sundeep Khosla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Development of novel therapeutic approaches to repair fracture non-unions remains a critical clinical necessity. We evaluated the capacity of human embryonic stem cell (hESC)-derived mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (MSCs) to induce healing in a fracture non-union model in rats. In addition, we placed these findings in the context of parallel studies using human bone marrow MSCs (hBM-MSCs) or a no cell control group (n=10-12 per group). Preliminary studies demonstrated that both for hESC-derived MSCs and hBM-MSCs, optimal induction of fracture healing required in vitro osteogenic differentiation of these cells. Based on biomechanical testing of fractured femurs, maximum torque, and stiffness were significantly greater in the hBM-MSC as compared to the control group that received no cells; values for these parameters in the hESC-derived MSC group were intermediate between the hBM-MSC and control groups, and not significantly different from the control group. However, some evidence of fracture healing was evident by X-ray in the hESC-derived MSC group. Our results thus indicate that while hESC-derived MSCs may have potential to induce fracture healing in non-unions, hBM-MSCs function more efficiently in this process. Additional studies are needed to further modify hESCs to achieve optimal fracture healing by these cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1804-1811
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Research
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2011


  • bone repair
  • embryonic stem cells
  • fracture non-union
  • mesenchymal stem/stromal cells
  • osteogenic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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