Human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) exhibit limited in vitro growth. Fibroblast growth factors (FGFs) elicit a variety of biological responses, such as cell proliferation, differentiation and migration. FGF-4 represents one of the FGFs with the highest cell mitogenic activity. We studied the effect of FGF-4 on MSCs growth and pluripotency. MSCs duplication time (Td) was significantly reduced with FGF-4 compared to controls (2.2 ± 0.2 vs. 4.1 ± 0.2 days, respectively; p = 0.03) while BMP-2 and SCF-1 did not exert a significant growth effect. MSC expression of surface markers, differentiation into adipogenic and osteogenic lineages, and baseline expression of cardiomyogenic genes were unaffected by FGF-4. In summary, exogenous FGF-4 increases the rate at which MSC proliferate and has no significant effect on MSC pluripotency.
- Mesenchymal stem cells