The effects of low-intensity pulsed ultrasound (LIPUS) on the differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) were investigated in this study. hMSCs were subjected to LIPUS with or without dexamethasone/transforming growth factor-β1 (TD) or bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP-2) and the effects of this treatment were assessed. TD-treated hMSCs exhibited characteristic chondrogenic morphology and increased messenger RNA (mRNA) expression of chondrogenic markers and LIPUS enhanced the chondrogenic differentiation of hMSCs treated with TD. The expression of Runx2, an osteogenic transcription factor was not altered in either TD treatment group; however, a significant increase was detected in the LIPUS only group. The osteogenic appearance exhibited 3 days after LIPUS and/or BMP-2 treatment. Increases in the mRNA expression levels of osteogenic markers, Runx2 and ALP were also detected. There was no additive or altered effect with combined LIPUS and BMP-2 treatment. LIPUS alone can increase osteogenic differentiation of hMSCs and LIPUS enhances TD-mediated chondrogenic differentiation of hMSCs. Clinically, LIPUS may differentially influence bone vs. cartilage repair.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1022-1033
Number of pages12
JournalUltrasound in Medicine and Biology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010


  • Chondrogenic differentiation
  • Human mesenchymal stem cells
  • Low-intensity pulsed ultrasound
  • Osteogenic differentiation
  • Transforming growth factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Biophysics
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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