Cell viability assessed in a reproducible model of human osteoblasts derived from human adipose-derived stem cells
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Human adipose tissue-derived stem cells (hASCs) have been subjected to extensive investigation because of their self-renewal properties and potential to restore damaged tissues. In the literature, there are several protocols for differentiating hASCs into osteoblasts, but there is no report on the control of cell viability during this process. In this study, we used osteoblasts derived from hASCs of patients undergoing abdominoplasty. The cells were observed at the beginning and end of bone matrix formation, and the expression of proteins involved in this process, including alkaline phosphatase and osteocalcin, was assessed. RANKL, Osterix, Runx2, Collagen3A1, Osteopontin and BSP expression levels were analyzed using real-time PCR, in addition to a quantitative assessment of protein levels of the markers CD45, CD105, STRO-1, and Nanog, using immunofluorescence. Rhodamine (Rho123), cytochrome-c, caspase-3, P-27, cyclin D1, and autophagy cell markers were analyzed by flow cytometry to demonstrate potential cellular activity and the absence of apoptotic and tumor cell processes before and after cell differentiation. The formation of bone matrix, along with calcium nodules, was observed after 16 days of osteoinduction. The gene expression levels of RANKL, Osterix, Runx2, Collagen3A1, Osteopontin, BSP and alkaline phosphatase activity were also elevated after 16 days of osteoinduction, whereas the level of osteocalcin was higher after 21 days of osteoinduction. Our data also showed that the cells had a high mitochondrial membrane potential and a low expression of apoptotic and tumor markers, both before and after differentiation. Cells were viable after the different phases of differentiation. This proposed methodology, using markers to evaluate cell viability, is therefore successful in assessing different phases of stem cell isolation and differentiation.
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