NOTCH-Mediated Maintenance and Expansion of Human Bone Marrow Stromal/Stem Cells: A Technology Designed for Orthopedic Regenerative Medicine

Stem Cells Transl Med. 2014 Dec;3(12):1456-66. doi: 10.5966/sctm.2014-0034. Epub 2014 Nov 3.


Human bone marrow-derived stromal/stem cells (BMSCs) have great therapeutic potential for treating skeletal disease and facilitating skeletal repair, although maintaining their multipotency and expanding these cells ex vivo have proven difficult. Because most stem cell-based applications to skeletal regeneration and repair in the clinic would require large numbers of functional BMSCs, recent research has focused on methods for the appropriate selection, expansion, and maintenance of BMSC populations during long-term culture. We describe here a novel biological method that entails selection of human BMSCs based on NOTCH2 expression and activation of the NOTCH signaling pathway in cultured BMSCs via a tissue culture plate coated with recombinant human JAGGED1 (JAG1) ligand. We demonstrate that transient JAG1-mediated NOTCH signaling promotes human BMSC maintenance and expansion while increasing their skeletogenic differentiation capacity, both ex vivo and in vivo. This study is the first of its kind to describe a NOTCH-mediated methodology for the maintenance and expansion of human BMSCs and will serve as a platform for future clinical or translational studies aimed at skeletal regeneration and repair.

Keywords: Bone; Bone marrow stromal cell; Cell culture; Differentiation; Mesenchymal stem cell; NOTCH; Proliferation; Skeleton.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bone Marrow Cells / cytology
  • Bone Marrow Cells / metabolism*
  • Calcium-Binding Proteins
  • Cell Differentiation*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Humans
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Jagged-1 Protein
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Orthopedics
  • Receptor, Notch2 / biosynthesis*
  • Regenerative Medicine
  • Serrate-Jagged Proteins
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Stem Cells / cytology
  • Stem Cells / metabolism*
  • Stromal Cells / cytology
  • Stromal Cells / metabolism


  • Calcium-Binding Proteins
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • JAG1 protein, human
  • Jagged-1 Protein
  • Membrane Proteins
  • NOTCH2 protein, human
  • Receptor, Notch2
  • Serrate-Jagged Proteins