Ex vivo enrichment of mesenchymal cell progenitors by fibroblast growth factor 2

Giordano Bianchi, Andrea Banfi, Maddalena Mastrogiacomo, Rosario Notaro, Lucio Luzzatto, Ranieri Cancedda, Rodolfo Quarto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Bone marrow stromal cells, obtained from postnatal bone marrow, contain progenitors able to differentiate into several mesenchymal lineages. Their use in gene and cell therapy requires their in vitro expansion and calls for the investigation of the culture conditions required to preserve these cells as a stem compartment with high differentiative potential during their life span. Here we report that fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF-2)-supplemented bone marrow stromal cell primary cultures display an early increase in telomere size followed by a gradual decrease, whereas in control cultures telomere length steadily decreases with increasing population doublings. Together with clonogenic culture conditions, FGF-2 supplementation prolongs the life span of bone marrow stromal cells to more than 70 doublings and maintains their differentiation potential until 50 doublings. These results suggest that FGF-2 in vitro selects for the survival of a particular subset of cells enriched in pluripotent mesenchymal precursors and is useful in obtaining a large number of cells with preserved differentiation potential for mesenchymal tissue repair.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-105
Number of pages8
JournalExperimental Cell Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2003


  • Bone marrow stromal cells
  • Fibroblast growth factor 2
  • Osteoprogenitors
  • Telomeres
  • Tissue engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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