Rapid Osteogenic Enhancement of Stem Cells in Human Bone Marrow Using a Glycogen-Synthease-Kinase-3-Beta Inhibitor Improves Osteogenic Efficacy In Vitro and In Vivo. Academic Article uri icon


  • Non-union defects of bone are a major problem in orthopedics, especially for patients with a low healing capacity. Fixation devices and osteoconductive materials are used to provide a stable environment for osteogenesis and an osteogenic component such as autologous human bone marrow (hBM) is then used, but robust bone formation is contingent on the healing capacity of the patients. A safe and rapid procedure for improvement of the osteoanabolic properties of hBM is, therefore, sought after in the field of orthopedics, especially if it can be performed within the temporal limitations of the surgical procedure, with minimal manipulation, and at point-of-care. One way to achieve this goal is to stimulate canonical Wingless (cWnt) signaling in bone marrow-resident human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs), the presumptive precursors of osteoblasts in bone marrow. Herein, we report that the effects of cWnt stimulation can be achieved by transient (1-2 hours) exposure of osteoprogenitors to the GSK3-inhibitor (2'Z,3'E)-6-bromoindirubin-3'-oxime (BIO) at a concentration of 800 nM. Very-rapid-exposure-to-BIO (VRE-BIO) on either hMSCs or whole hBM resulted in the long-term establishment of an osteogenic phenotype associated with accelerated alkaline phosphatase activity and enhanced transcription of the master regulator of osteogenesis, Runx2. When VRE-BIO treated hBM was tested in a rat spinal fusion model, VRE-BIO caused the formation of a denser, stiffer, fusion mass as compared with vehicle treated hBM. Collectively, these data indicate that the VRE-BIO procedure may represent a rapid, safe, and point-of-care strategy for the osteogenic enhancement of autologous hBM for use in clinical orthopedic procedures. Stem Cells Translational Medicine 2018;7:342-353.

published proceedings

  • Stem Cells Transl Med

altmetric score

  • 5.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Clough, B. H., Zeitouni, S., Krause, U., Chaput, C. D., Cross, L. M., Gaharwar, A. K., & Gregory, C. A.

citation count

  • 7

complete list of authors

  • Clough, Bret H||Zeitouni, Suzanne||Krause, Ulf||Chaput, Christopher D||Cross, Lauren M||Gaharwar, Akhilesh K||Gregory, Carl A

publication date

  • April 2018