eCM (Eur Cell Mater / e Cells & Materials) Not-for-Profit Open Access
Created by Scientists, for Scientists
 ISSN:1473-2262         NLM:100973416 (link)         DOI:10.22203/eCM

2014   Volume No 27 – pages 185-195

Title: In vivo phenotypic characterisation of nucleoside label-retaining cells in mouse periosteum

Author: HM Cherry, AJ Roelofs, TB Kurth, C De Bari

Address: Institute of Medical Sciences, Foresterhill, Aberdeen AB25 2ZD, Scotland, UK

E-mail: c.debari at

Key Words: Mesenchymal stem/stromal cell; osteoprogenitor; periosteum; label-retaining; osteoblast; pericyte.

Publication date: March 11th 2014

Abstract: Periosteum is known to contain cells that, after isolation and culture-expansion, display properties of mesenchymal stromal/stem cells (MSCs). However, the equivalent cells have not been identified in situ mainly due to the lack of specific markers. Postnatally, stem cells are slow-cycling, long-term nucleoside-label-retaining cells. This study aimed to identify and characterise label-retaining cells in mouse periosteum in vivo. Mice received iodo-deoxy-uridine (IdU) via the drinking water for 30 days, followed by a 40-day washout period. IdU+ cells were identified by immunostaining in conjunction with MSC and lineage markers. IdU-labelled cells were detected throughout the periosteum with no apparent focal concentration, and were negative for the endothelial marker von Willebrand factor and the pan-haematopoietic marker CD45. Subsets of IdU+ cells were positive for the mesenchymal/stromal markers vimentin and cadherin-11. IdU+ cells expressed stem cell antigen-1, CD44, CD73, CD105, platelet-derived growth factor receptor-α and p75, thereby displaying an MSC-like phonotype. Co-localisation was not detectable between IdU and the pericyte markers CD146, alpha smooth muscle actin or NG2, nor did IdU co-localise with β-galactosidase in a transgenic mouse expressing this reporter gene in pericytes and smooth muscle cells. Subsets of IdU+ cells expressed the osteoblast-lineage markers Runx2 and osteocalcin. The IdU+ cells expressing osteocalcin were lining the bone and were negative for the MSC marker p75. In conclusion, mouse periosteum contains nucleoside-label-retaining cells with a phenotype compatible with MSCs that are distinct from pericytes and osteoblasts. Future studies characterising the MSC niche in vivo could reveal novel therapeutic targets for promoting bone regeneration/repair.

Article download: Pages 185-195 (PDF file)
DOI: 10.22203/eCM.v027a14