Mesenchymal Stem Cell Growth Factors

Mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (MSCs) are self-renewing cells that have the capacity to differentiate into adipocytes, chondrocytes, myocytes, and osteocytes. MSCs can be used clinically to replace or repair damaged tissues. However, the number of MSCs that can be obtained from a donor is significantly lower than the number needed for tissue regeneration. Therefore, MSCs are expanded ex vivo in media supplemented with growth factors. In addition to their proliferative and pro-survival effects, growth factors can induce differentiation of MSCs towards a specific lineage. For example, Transforming Growth Factor-beta 3 (TGF-beta 3) has been shown to increase proliferation of MSCs while inducing chondrogenesis. Similarly, Bone Morphogenic Protein 3 (BMP-3) increases MSC proliferation while inducing osteogenesis. In contrast, Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF) promotes MSC expansion without inducing differentiation. Thus, the selection of specific growth factors can be used to expand MSCs or to differentiate MSCs towards a specific lineage. R&D Systems offers premium quality growth factors which can stimulate MSC expansion and/or differentiation towards a specific cell lineage.