A comparison of tissue engineering based repair of calvarial defects using adipose stem cells from normal and osteoporotic rats

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Repairing large bone defects presents a significant challenge, especially in those people who have a limited regenerative capacity such as in osteoporotic (OP) patients. The aim of this study was to compare adipose stem cells (ASCs) from both normal (NORM) and ovariectomized (OVX) rats in osteogenic potential using both in vitro and in vivo models. After successful establishment of a rat OP model, we found that ASCs from OVX rats exhibited a comparable proliferation capacity to those from NORM rats but had significantly higher adipogenic and relatively lower osteogenic potential. Thirty-two weeks post-implantation with poly (lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) alone or PLGA seeded with osteogenic-induced ASCs for critical-size calvarial defects, the data from Herovici’s collagen staining and micro-computed tomography suggested that the implantation of ASC-PLGA constructs exhibited a higher bone volume density compared to the PLGA alone group, especially in the NORM rat group. Intriguingly, the defects from OVX rats exhibited a higher bone volume density compared to NORM rats, especially for implantation of the PLGA alone group. Our results indicated that ASC based tissue constructs are more beneficial for the repair of calvarial defects in NORM rats while implantation of PLGA scaffold contributed to defect regeneration in OVX rats.