Human perivascular stem cell-based bone graft substitute induces rat spinal fusion

Choon G. Chung, Aaron W. James, Greg Asatrian, Le Chang, Alan Nguyen, Khoi Le, Georgina Bayani, Robert Lee, David Stoker, Xinli Zhang, Kang Ting, Bruno Péault, Chia Soo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Adipose tissue is an attractive source of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) because of its abundance and accessibility. We have previously defined a population of native MSCs termed perivascular stem cells (PSCs), purified from diverse human tissues, including adipose tissue. Human PSCs (hPSCs) are a bipartite cell population composed of pericytes (CD146+CD34−CD45−) and adventitial cells (CD146−CD34+CD45−), isolated by fluorescence-activated cell sorting and with properties identical to those of culture identified MSCs. Our previous studies showed that hPSCs exhibit improved bone formation compared with a sample-matched unpurified population (termed stromal vascular fraction); however, it is not known whether hPSCs would be efficacious in a spinal fusion model. To investigate, we evaluated the osteogenic potential of freshly sorted hPSCs without culture expansion and differentiation in a rat model of posterolateral lumbar spinal fusion. We compared increasing dosages of implanted hPSCs to assess for dose-dependent efficacy. All hPSC treatment groups induced successful spinal fusion, assessed by manual palpation and microcomputed tomography. Computerized biomechanical simulation (finite element analysis) further demonstrated bone fusion with hPSC treatment. Histological analyses showed robust endochondral ossification in hPSC-treated samples. Finally, we confirmed that implanted hPSCs indeed differentiated into osteoblasts and osteocytes; however, the majority of the new bone formation was of host origin. These results suggest that implanted hPSCs positively regulate bone formation via direct and paracrine mechanisms. In summary, hPSCs are a readily available MSC population that effectively forms bone without requirements for culture or predifferentiation. Thus, hPSC-based products show promise for future efforts in clinical bone regeneration and repair.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1231-1241
Number of pages11
JournalStem Cells Translational Medicine
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Adventitial cell
  • Mesenchymal stem cell
  • Osteogenesis
  • Pericyte
  • Perivascular stem cell
  • Tissue engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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