The role of mesenchymal stem cells in fracture healing

​Description of Research

The main aim of our research project is to elucidate the role of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and different signaling molecules in fracture healing. MSCs are multipotent cells that can differentiate into e.g. bone, cartilage and muscle and they play an important role in various regenerative processes.

We aim to find out a) how MSCs are activated after fracture; b) which are their interaction mechanisms with e.g. endothelial precursors in angiogenesis and bone formation; c) what is the role of various signaling molecules in these events; and d) how the interaction mechanisms can be utilized in the development of better bone tissue engineering applications.

MSC-based cell therapies have already been applied in bone defects but the final breakthrough is still missing. If we are able to identify the critical cellular and molecular signaling mechanisms, the data can be utilized to promote bone tissue regeneration.

Members of the research group

​Katriina Joensuu, MD, PhD, post-doctoral researcher
Liina Uusitalo-Kylmälä, MSc, PhD student
Matti Mäkelä, BSc, undergraduate student
Carolina Santo Mendes, BSc, undergraduate student

Selected Publications

Heino TJ, Määttä JA (2018) Bone Marrow Niche: Role of Different Cells in Bone Metastasis. Current Molecular Biology Reports. 4(2): 80-87.​

Joensuu K, Uusitalo L, Hentunen TA, Heino TJ (2018) Angiogenic potential of human mesenchymal stromal cell and circulating mononuclear cell co-cultures is reflected in the expression profiles of proangiogenic factors leading to endothelial cell and pericyte differentiation. JJ Tissue Eng Regen Med. 12(3):775-783.

Heino TJ, Alm JJ, Halkosaari HJ, Välimäki VV (2016) Zoledronic acid in vivo increases in vitro proliferation of rat mesenchymal stromal cells. Acta Orthopaedica 87(4):412-7.
Joensuu K, Uusitalo L, Alm JJ, Aro HT, Hentunen TA, Heino TJ (2015) Enhanced osteoblastic differentiation and bone formation in co-culture of human bone marrow mesenchymal stromal cells and peripheral blood mononuclear cells with exogenic VEGF. Orthopaedics & Traumatology: Surgery & Research 101(3):381-386.

Alm JJ, Heino TJ, Hentunen TA, Väänänen HK, Aro HT (2012) Transient 100 nM dexamethasone treatment reduces inter- and intraindividual variations in osteoblastic differentiation of bone-marrow derived human mesenchymal stem cells. Tissue Engineering Part C Methods. 18(9): 658-66.

Joensuu K, Paatero I, Alm JJ, Elenius K, Aro HT, Heino TJ, Hentunen TA (2011) Interaction between marrow-derived human mesenchymal stem cells and peripheral blood mononuclear cells in endothelial cell differentiation. Scandinavian Journal of Surgery 100(2):216-222.

 Docent Terhi Heino

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