Novel Mesenchymal Stem Cell Spheroids with Enhanced Stem Cell Characteristics and Bone Regeneration Ability

Yumi Ohori-Morita, Kunimichi Niibe, Phoonsuk Limraksasin, Praphawi Nattasit, Xinchao Miao, Masahiro Yamada, Yo Mabuchi, Yumi Matsuzaki, Hiroshi Egusa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) exhibit self-renewal, multi-lineage differentiation potential and immunomodulatory properties, and are promising candidates for cellular therapy of various tissues. Despite the effective function of MSCs, the gradual loss of stem cell characteristics that occurs with repeated passages may significantly limit their therapeutic potential. A novel 3D shaking method was previously established to generate MSC spheroids in growth medium (GM-spheroids) and successfully maintain the multipotency of expanded MSCs, yet the expression of MSC-related genes was still low. In this study, we used a neurosphere culture technique to optimize the shaking culture method using human bone marrow-derived MSCs (BM-MSCs). MSC spheroids generated in neurosphere medium (NM-spheroids) maintained high expression of MSC-related genes during 3 weeks of prolonged shaking culture. Moreover, NM-spheroids generated from expanded MSCs showed high viability, upregulation of MSC-related and immune-related genes, and recovery of differentiation potential in vitro. Expanded adherent MSCs, GM-spheroids, and NM-spheroids were transplanted into a rat femur bone defect model to investigate their therapeutic potential in bone repair. Adherent MSCs and GM-spheroids showed delayed bone healing. In contrast, NM-spheroids showed high transplantation efficiency and enhanced bone regeneration. These data suggest that NM-spheroids generated using modified neurosphere culture conditions under continuous shaking recovered their stem cell characteristics in vitro and enhanced bone regeneration in vivo. Therefore, NM-spheroids should have great clinical potential for bone and tissue regenerative therapies as a stem cell-based biomaterial therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)434-449
Number of pages16
JournalStem Cells Translational Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 04-2022
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


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