Evaluation of fibroblast growth factor-2 on the proliferation of osteogenic potential and protein expression of stem cell spheroids composed of stem cells derived from bone marrow

Exp Ther Med. 2019 Jul;18(1):326-331. doi: 10.3892/etm.2019.7543. Epub 2019 May 3.


Fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2) is reported to have various functions and is considered a key human mesenchymal stem cell mitogen, often supplemented to increase human mesenchymal stem cell growth rates. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of FGF-2 on cellular viability and osteogenic differentiation using three-dimensional cell spheroids of stem cells. Three-dimensional cell spheroids were fabricated using concave silicon elastomer-based microwells in the presence of FGF-2 at concentrations of 0, 30, 60 and 90 ng/ml. Qualitative cellular viability was determined with a confocal microscope, and quantitative cellular viability was evaluated using a Cell Counting Kit-8 assay. Alkaline phosphatase activity and Alizarin Red S staining were used to assess osteogenic differentiation. Spheroids were well formed in silicon elastomer-based concave microwells on Day 1. The average spheroid diameters at Day 1 for FGF-2 at 0, 30, 60 and 90 ng/ml were 202.2±3.0, 206.6±22.6, 208.8±6.8 and 196.6±26.7 µm, respectively (P>0.05). The majority of the cells in the cell spheroids emitted green fluorescence. The relative Cell Counting Kit-8 assay values for FGF-2 at 0, 30, 60 and 90 ng/ml at Day 1 were 100.0±5.5, 101.8±8.8, 99.2±4.8 and 103.4±9.6% (P>0.05). The addition of FGF-2 at 60 ng/ml concentration produced the highest value for alkaline phosphatase activity. Mineralized extracellular deposits were evenly observed in each group, and the highest value was identified for FGF-2 groups at 60 ng/ml concentration for Alizarin Red S staining. Based on these findings, it was concluded that FGF-2 may increase alkaline phosphatase activity or Alizarin Red S staining, and further studies are needed to fully elucidate the mechanisms of FGF-2.

Keywords: bone marrow; cell differentiation; cell survival; cellular spheroids; fibroblast growth factors; osteogenesis; stem cells.