Osteoporosis is characterised by reduced bone mass and aberrant bone micro-architecture; thus increasing susceptibility to fracture due to reduced strength and quality. The aims of this study were to investigate the role of CXCR4 transfected on stem cell homing and osteogenic characteristics in osteopenic rats; particularly elucidating the effect on cell migration.
Methods: MSCs were harvested from young, adult and ovarectomized animals and transfected with CXCR4; these cells were administered intravenously in ovarectomized rats. Micro CT and mechanical testing was completed after 12 weeks.
Results: rats injected with young CXCR4 transfected cells had significantly higher BMD compared to placebo injected rats (p<0.05). Rats injected with ovarectomized CXCR4 transfected cells, had higher BMD compared to those injected with saline or non-transfected cells (p<0.04). L4 vertebral stiffness was significantly higher in rats treated with young CXCR4 transfected cells compared to all other groups (p<0.05).
Conclusions: CXCR4 genetically modified cells from young and ovarectomized sources improve some aspects of bone formation in the ovarectomized model of osteoporosis; and thus, may play a role in patient treatment regimens.