The effect of equiaxial stretching on the osteogenic differentiation and mechanical properties of human adipose stem cells.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the osteogenic response of human adipose-derived stem cells (hASCs) under mechanical and/or chemical stimulation. hASCs were divided into three groups. In group A, the cells were cultured without any stimulation, in group B, the cells were induced with chemical stimulation, and in group C, the cells were induced with a combination of chemical stimulation and stretch loading. Stretch loading and chemical stimulation were applied using a four-point bending apparatus (0.5 Hz, 2,000 µε, 2 h/day) and osteogenic differentiation medium, respectively. At the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th and 7th day following initiation of stretch loading, we detected alkaline phosphatase activity, mRNA expression (RUNX2, ALPL, osteonectin, osteopontin and type I collagen) and protein expression (RUNX2 and osteopontin) by colorimetric assay, real-time PCR and Western blot methods, respectively. Alkaline phosphatase activity, mRNA expression and protein expression all increased in groups B and C along with the culture time, but were observed to be downregulated by the 7th day in group C (p < 0.05). Compared to group A, most of the above markers were significantly higher in groups B and C (p < 0.05). All of the above markers in group C were higher than those in group B before the 5th day (p < 0.05), except at the 1st day. These results indicated that stretch loading promoted osteogenic differentiation of hASCs and that the combination of mechanical and chemical stimulation could enhance the osteogenic capability up to the 5th day relative to chemical stimulation alone.