Pro-osteogenic trophic effects by PKA activation in human mesenchymal stromal cells
Human mesenchymal stromal cells (hMSCs) are able to differentiate into a wide variety of cell types, which makes them an interesting source for tissue engineering applications. On the other hand, these cells also secrete a broad panel of growth factors and cytokines that can exert trophic effects on surrounding tissues. In bone tissue engineering applications, the general assumption is that direct differentiation of hMSCs into osteoblasts accounts for newly observed bone formation in vivo. However, the secretion of bone-specific growth factors, but also pro-angiogenic factors, could also contribute to this process. We recently demonstrated that secretion of bone specific growth factors can be enhanced by treatment of hMSCs with the small molecule db-cAMP (cAMP) and here we investigate the biological activity of these secreted factors. We demonstrate that conditioned medium contains a variety of secreted growth factors, with differences between medium from basic-treated and cAMP-treated hMSCs. We show that conditioned medium from cAMP-treated hMSCs increases proliferation of various cell types and also induces osteogenic differentiation, whereas it has differential effects on migration. Microarray analysis on hMSCs exposed to conditioned medium confirmed upregulation of pathways involved in proliferation as well as osteogenic differentiation. Our data suggests that trophic factors secreted by hMSCs can be tuned for specific applications and that a good balance between differentiation on the one hand and secretion of bone trophic factors on the other, could potentially enhance bone formation for bone tissue engineering applications.