Osteoblast-Based Therapy-A New Approach for Bone Repair in Osteoporosis: Pre-Clinical Setting


Osteoporosis is a metabolic bone disease characterized by low bone density resulting in increased fracture susceptibility. This research was constructed to uncover the potential therapeutic application of osteoblasts transplantation, generated upon culturing male rat bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs) in osteogenic medium (OM), OM containing gold (Au-NPs) or gold/hydroxyapatite (Au/HA-NPs) nanoparticles, in ovariectomized rats to counteract osteoporosis.


Forty rats were randomized into: (1) negative control, (2) osteoporotic rats, whereas groups (3), (4) and (5) constituted osteoporotic rats treated with osteoblasts yielded from culturing BM-MSCs in OM, OM plus Au-NPs or Au/HA-NPs, respectively. After 3 months, osterix (OSX), bone alkaline phosphatase (BALP), sclerostin (SOST) and bone sialoprotein (BSP) serum levels were assessed. In addition, gene expression levels of cathepsin K, receptor activator of nuclear factor-κb ligand (RANKL), osteoprotegerin (OPG) and RANKL/OPG ratio were evaluated using real-time PCR. Moreover, histological investigation of femur bone tissues in different groups was performed. The homing of implanted osteoblasts to the osteoporotic femur bone of rats was documented by Sex determining region Y gene detection in bone tissue.


Our results indicated that osteoblasts infusion significantly blunted serum BALP, BSP and SOST levels, while significantly elevated OSX level. Also, they brought about significant down-regulation in gene expression levels of cathepsin K, RANKL and RANKL/OPG ratio versus untreated osteoporotic rats. Additionally, osteoblasts nidation could restore bone histoarchitecture.


These findings offer scientific evidence that transplanting osteoblasts in osteoporotic rats regains the homeostasis of the bone remodeling cycle, thus providing a promising treatment strategy for primary osteoporosis.