Research Paper Volume 3, Issue 7 pp 672—684

Gene expression profiling suggests a pathological role of human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells in aging-related skeletal diseases

Shih Sheng Jiang1, , Chung-Hsing Chen2, , Kuo-Yun Tseng3, , Fang-Yu Tsai1, , Ming Jen Wang3, , I-Shou Chang1,3, , Jiunn-Liang Lin4, , Shankung Lin3,5, ,

  • 1 National Institute of Cancer Research, National Health Research Institutes, Zhunan, Miaoli, Taiwan
  • 2 Division of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, Institute of Population Health Sciences, National Health Research Institutes, Zhunan, Miaoli, Taiwan
  • 3 Institute of Cellular and System Medicine, National Health Research Institutes, Zhunan, Miaoli, Taiwan
  • 4 Orthopaedics Medicine, Miaoli General Hospital, Miaoli city, Taiwan
  • 5 Graduate Institute of Basic Medical Science, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan

Received: May 18, 2011       Accepted: July 20, 2011       Published: July 28, 2011
How to Cite

Copyright: © 2011 Jiang et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Aging is associated with bone loss and degenerative joint diseases, in which the aging of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cell (bmMSC) may play an important role. In this study, we analyzed the gene expression profiles of bmMSC from 14 donors between 36 and 74 years old, and obtained age-associated genes (in the background of osteoarthritis) and osteoarthritis-associated genes (in the background of old age). Pathway analysis of these genes suggests that alterations in glycobiology might play an important role in the aging of human bmMSC. On the other hand, antigen presentation and signaling of immune cells were the top pathways enriched by osteoarthritis-associated genes, suggesting that alteration in immunology of bmMSC might be involved in the pathogenesis of osteoarthritis. Most intriguingly, we found significant age-associated differential expression of HEXA, HEXB, CTSK, SULF1, ADAMTS5, SPP1, COL8A2, GPNMB, TNFAIP6, and RPL29; those genes have been implicated in the bone loss and the pathology of osteoporosis and osteoarthritis in aging. Collectively, our results suggest a pathological role of bmMSC in aging-related skeletal diseases, and suggest the possibility that alteration in the immunology of bmMSC might also play an important role in the etiology of adult-onset osteoarthritis.


bmMSC: bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cell; OA: osteoarthritis; OP: osteoporosis.