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Isolation and Characterization of Human Suture Mesenchymal Stem Cells In Vitro
International Journal of Stem Cells
Published online June 30, 2020;  
© 2020 Korean Society for Stem Cell Research.

Liangliang Kong, Yuan Wang, Yi Ji, Jianbing Chen, Jie Cui, Weimin Shen

Department of Plastic Surgery, Children’s Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, China
Correspondence to: Weimin Shen
Department of Plastic Surgery, Children’s Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, 72 Guangzhou Road, Nanjing 210008, China
Tel: +86-25-83117584, Fax: +86-25-52862934
Received February 1, 2020; Revised May 31, 2020; Accepted June 6, 2020.
This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (, which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Background and Objectives: Cranial sutures play a critical role in adjustment of skull development and brain growth. Premature fusion of cranial sutures leads to craniosynostosis. The aim of the current study was to culture and characterize human cranial suture mesenchymal cells in vitro.
Methods: The residual skull tissues, containing synostosed or contralateral suture from three boys with right coronal suture synostosis, were used to isolate the suture mesenchymal cells. Then, flow cytometry and multilineage differentiation were performed to identify the typical mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) properties. Finally, we used quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) to detect the mRNA expression of osteogenesis and stemness related genes.
Results: After 3 to 5 days in culture, the cells migrated from the tissue explants and proliferated parallelly or spirally. These cells expressed typical MSC markers, CD73, CD90, CD105, and could give rises to osteocytes, adipocytes and chondrocytes. RT-PCR showed relatively higher levels of Runx2, osteocalcin and FGF2 in the fused suture MSCs than in the normal cells. However, BMP3, the only protein of BMP family that inhibits osteogenesis, reduced in synostosed suture derived cells. The expression of effector genes remaining cell stemness, including Bmi1, Gli1 and Axin2, decreased in the cells migrated from the affected cranial sutures.
Conclusions: The MSCs from prematurely occlusive sutures overexpressed osteogenic related genes and down-regulated stemness-related genes, which may further accelerate the osteogenic differentiation and suppress the self-renewal of stem cells leading to craniosynostosis.
Keywords : Cranial suture, Craniosynostosis, Human, Mesenchyme stem cell

July 2020, 13 (2)