Probiotics and Antimicrobial Proteins

, Volume 11, Issue 3, pp 1009–1014 | Cite as

The Effect of Vancomycin on the Viability and Osteogenic Potential of Bone-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells

  • Elzaan Booysen
  • Hanél Sadie-Van Gijsen
  • Shelly M. Deane
  • William Ferris
  • Leon M. T. DicksEmail author


Traditionally, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is treated with vancomycin, administrated intravenously or applied directly onto infected tissue. The effect of direct (as opposed to systemic) vancomycin treatment on bone formation and remodelling is largely unknown. The minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) of vancomycin was determined by adding 200 μL of different concentrations (1–20 μg/mL) to actively growing cultures of S. aureus Xen 31 (methicillin-resistant) and S. aureus Xen 36 (methicillin-sensitive), respectively, and recording changes in optical density over 24 h. Bone marrow-derived and proximal femur-derived mesenchymal stem cells (bmMSCs and pfMSCs) from rat femora were exposed to 1 × MIC (5 μg/mL) and 4 × MIC (20 μg/mL) of vancomycin for 7 days. Cell viability was determined by staining with crystal violet and MTT (3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide), respectively, and osteogenic differentiation by staining with Alizarin Red S. Vancomycin had no effect on the viability of bmMSCs and pfMSCs, even at high levels (20 μg/mL). The osteogenic differentiation of pfMSCs was partially inhibited, while osteogenesis in bmMSCs was not severely affected. The direct application of vancomycin to infected bone tissue, even at excessive levels, may preserve the viability of resident MSC populations.


Vancomycin Mesenchymal stem cells Viability 



The research was funded by the National Research Foundation, South Africa. Grants were allocated to H Sadie-Van Gijsen and LMT Dicks. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elzaan Booysen
    • 1
  • Hanél Sadie-Van Gijsen
    • 2
    • 3
  • Shelly M. Deane
    • 1
  • William Ferris
    • 2
  • Leon M. T. Dicks
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Natural SciencesStellenbosch UniversityStellenboschSouth Africa
  2. 2.Division of Endocrinology, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health SciencesStellenbosch University Tygerberg CampusParowSouth Africa
  3. 3.Division of Medical Physiology, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health SciencesStellenbosch University Tygerberg CampusParowSouth Africa

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