Cell therapy using bone marrow concentrate (BMC) or purified and expanded mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) has been shown to have a promising osteogenic capacity. However, few studies have directly compared their relative osteogenic ability. The aim of this study was to compare the osteogenic ability of BMC isolated by density gradient centrifugation with bone marrow-derived MSCs in vitro using the cells of 3-month-old Sprague-Dawley rats. The isolated cells were seeded onto 24-well plates (1*105 cells/well) and cultured in control growth media, osteogenic media with dexamethasone, or media without dexamethasone (which simulated the in vivo tissue environment). Alkaline phosphatase activity at week 2, osteocalcin using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction at week 4, and Alizarin red staining at week 4 were evaluated. In the osteogenic media with dexamethasone, BMC showed equivalent (osteocalcin) or even greater (Alizarin red staining) osteogenic ability compared to MSCs, suggesting that cross-talk among various cells in the BMC leads to greater osteogenesis. Furthermore, in the osteogenic media without dexamethasone, BMC showed equivalent (osteocalcin) or a trend for greater (Alizarin red staining) bone formation than MSCs alone. Our results suggest that BMC has at least comparable bone regeneration potential to MSCs. © 2019 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part B: 00B: 000-000, 2019.
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