cultured with differentiated hBMSCs formed mineralized bone nodules and secreted extracellular matrix protein osteocalcin (OCN). Quantitative Alizarin Red assays showed increased mineralization as compared to the control with undifferentiated hBMSCs. RT-PCR revealed the loss of pluripotent hESC markers with the concomitant gain of osteoblastic markers such as collagen type I, runx2, and osterix. We demonstrate that osteogenic growth factors derived from differentiated hBMSCs within the local microenvironment may help to promote hESC osteogenic differentiation.

Keywords: human embryonic stem cells, bone marrow stromal cells, osteoblasts, stem cellmicroenvironment

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