Transcriptomic alterations underline aging of osteogenic bone marrow stromal cells

Yu Hao Cheng, Shu Fen Liu, Jing Cheng Dong, Qin Bian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND Multipotent bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) are adult stem cells that form functional osteoblasts and play a critical role in bone remodeling. During aging, an increase in bone loss and reduction in structural integrity lead to osteoporosis and result in an increased risk of fracture. We examined age-dependent histological changes in murine vertebrae and uncovered that bone loss begins as early as the age of 1 mo. AIM To identify the functional alterations and transcriptomic dynamics of BMSCs during early bone loss. METHODS We collected BMSCs from mice at early to middle ages and compared their selfrenewal and differentiation potential. Subsequently, we obtained the transcriptomic profiles of BMSCs at 1 mo, 3 mo, and 7 mo. RESULTS The colony-forming and osteogenic commitment capacity showed a comparable finding that decreased at the age of 1 mo. The transcriptomic analysis showed the enrichment of osteoblastic regulation genes at 1 mo and loss of osteogenic features at 3 mo. The BMSCs at 7 mo showed enrichment of adipogenic and DNA repair features. Moreover, we demonstrated that the WNT and MAPK signaling pathways were upregulated at 1 mo, followed by increased pro-inflammatory and apoptotic features. CONCLUSION Our study uncovered the cellular and molecular dynamics of bone aging in mice and demonstrated the contribution of BMSCs to the early stage of age-related bone loss.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)128-138
Number of pages11
JournalWorld Journal of Stem Cells
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Aging
  • Bone marrow stromal cell
  • Bone modeling and remodeling
  • Mesenchymal stem cell
  • Mesenchymal stromal cell
  • Transcriptome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Histology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Cell Biology


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