Characterization of traumatized muscle-derived multipotent progenitor cells from low-energy trauma

Marvin Dingle, Stephen D. Fernicola, Jaira F. de Vasconcellos, Sonia Zicari, Christopher Daniels, John C. Dunn, Alexander Dimtchev, Leon J. Nesti*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Multipotent progenitor cells have been harvested from different human tissues, including the bone marrow, adipose tissue, and umbilical cord blood. Previously, we identified a population of mesenchymal progenitor cells (MPCs) isolated from the traumatized muscle of patients undergoing reconstructive surgery following a war-related blast injury. These cells demonstrated the ability to differentiate into multiple mesenchymal lineages. While distal radius fractures from a civilian setting have a much lower injury mechanism (low-energy trauma), we hypothesized that debrided traumatized muscle near the fracture site would contain multipotent progenitor cells with the ability to differentiate and regenerate the injured tissue. Methods: The traumatized muscle was debrided from the pronator quadratus in patients undergoing open reduction and internal fixation for a distal radius fracture at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Using a previously described protocol for the isolation of MPCs from war-related extremity injuries, cells were harvested from the low-energy traumatized muscle samples and expanded in culture. Isolated cells were characterized by flow cytometry and q-RT-PCRs and induced to adipogenic, osteogenic, and chondrogenic differentiation. Downstream analyses consisted of lineage-specific staining and q-RT-PCR. Results: Cells isolated from low-energy traumatized muscle samples were CD73+, CD90+, and CD105+ that are the characteristic of adult human mesenchymal stem cells. These cells expressed high levels of the stem cell markers OCT4 and NANOG 1-day after isolation, which was dramatically reduced over-time in monolayer culture. Following induction, lineage-specific markers were demonstrated by each specific staining and confirmed by gene expression analysis, demonstrating the ability of these cells to differentiate into adipogenic, osteogenic, and chondrogenic lineages. Conclusions: Adult multipotent progenitor cells are an essential component for the success of regenerative medicine efforts. While MPCs have been isolated and characterized from severely traumatized muscle from high-energy injuries, here, we report that cells with similar characteristics and multipotential capacity have been isolated from the tissue that was exposed to low-energy, community trauma.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6
JournalStem Cell Research and Therapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Low-energy fractures
  • Multipotent progenitor cells
  • Stem cell
  • Wound healing


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