Bone mesenchymal stem cells co‑expressing VEGF and BMP‑6 genes to combat avascular necrosis of the femoral head
- Hongxing Liao
- Zhixiong Zhong
- Zhanliang Liu
- Liangping Li
- Zemin Ling
- Xuenong Zou
Published online on: November 7, 2017
Copyright: © Liao et al.
This is an open access article distributed under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution License.
The aim of the present study was to investigate the potential of bone mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) treated with a combination of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and bone morphogenetic protein‑6 (BMP‑6) genes for the treatment of avascular necrosis of the femoral head (ANFH). Rat BMSCs were isolated and purified using a density gradient centrifugation method. The purity and characteristics of the BMSCs were detected by cell surface antigens identification using flow cytometry. The experimental groups were administered with one of the following adeno‑associated virus (AAV) vector constructs: AAV‑green fluorescent protein (AAV‑GFP), AAV‑BMP‑6, AAV‑VEGF or AAV‑VEGF‑BMP‑6. The expression of VEGF and BMP‑6 was detected by reverse transcription‑quantitative polymerase chain reaction, western blotting and ELISA assays. The effects of VEGF and BMP‑6 on BMSCs were evaluated by angiogenic and osteogenic assays. The transfected BMSCs were combined with a biomimetic synthetic scaffold poly lactide‑co‑glycolide (PLAGA) and they were then subcutaneously implanted into nude mice. After four weeks, the implants were analyzed with histology and subsequent immunostaining to evaluate the effects of BMSCs on blood vessel and bone formation in vivo. In the AAV‑VEGF‑BMP‑6 group, the expression levels of VEGF and BMP‑6 were significantly increased and human umbilical vein endothelial cells tube formation was significantly enhanced compared with other groups. Capillaries and bone formation in the AAV‑VEGF‑BMP‑6 group was significantly higher compared with the other groups. The results of the present study suggest that BMSCs expressing both VEGF and BMP‑6 induce an increase in blood vessels and bone formation, which provides theoretical support for ANFH gene therapy.