Published online Oct 26, 2019. doi: 10.4252/wjsc.v11.i10.764
Peer-review started: March 20, 2019
First decision: April 16, 2019
Revised: May 17, 2019
Accepted: August 27, 2019
Article in press: August 27, 2019
Published online: October 26, 2019
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are stromal multipotent stem cells that can differentiate into multiple cell types, including fibroblasts, osteoblasts, chondrocytes, adipocytes, and myoblasts, thus allowing them to contribute to the regeneration of various tissues, especially bone tissue. MSCs are now considered one of the most promising cell types in the field of tissue engineering. Traditional petri dish-based culture of MSCs generate heterogeneity, which leads to inconsistent efficacy of MSC applications. Biodegradable and biocompatible polymers, poly(3-hydroxyalkanoates) (PHAs), are actively used for the manufacture of scaffolds that serve as carriers for MSC growth. The growth and differentiation of MSCs grown on PHA scaffolds depend on the physicochemical properties of the polymers, the 3D and surface microstructure of the scaffolds, and the biological activity of PHAs, which was discovered in a series of investigations. The mechanisms of the biological activity of PHAs in relation to MSCs remain insufficiently studied. We suggest that this effect on MSCs could be associated with the natural properties of bacteria-derived PHAs, especially the most widespread representative poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) (PHB). This biopolymer is present in the bacteria of mammalian microbiota, whereas endogenous poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) is found in mammalian tissues. The possible association of PHA effects on MSCs with various biological functions of poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) in bacteria and eukaryotes, including in humans, is discussed in this paper.
Core tip: Biodegradable and biocompatible polymers, poly(3-hydroxyalkanoates) (PHAs), are actively used for the manufacture of scaffolds that serve as carriers for mesenchymal stem cell growth in tissue engineering. It was shown that PHAs have their own biological activity affecting mesenchymal stem cell growth and differentiation. However, the mechanisms of the biological activity of PHAs remain unclear. In this review, we discuss the possible association of the effects of bacteria-originating PHAs on mesenchymal stem cells with various biological functions of PHAs in bacteria and eukaryotes, including in humans.