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Bone. 2002 Jul;31(1):205-11.

Behavior of osteoblast, adipocyte, and myoblast markers in genome-wide expression analysis of mouse calvaria primary osteoblasts in vitro.

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  • 1Bone Disease Group, Aventis, Romainville, France.


Several genes, such as alkaline phosphatase, osteocalcin, and Cbfa1/Osf2, are known to be regulated during osteoblastic differentiation and are commonly used as "osteoblast markers" for in vitro or in vivo studies. The number of these genes is very limited, however, and it is of major interest to identify new genes that are activated or repressed during the process of osteoblast differentiation and bone formation as well as to extend the available information on gene families relevant to this particular differentiation pathway. To identify such genes, we have implemented a genome-wide analysis by determining changes in expression levels of 27,000 genes during in vitro differentiation of primary osteoblasts isolated from mouse calvaria. This study focuses on the description of the analytical and filtering process applied; on the transcriptional analysis of well-established "bone," "adipocyte," and "muscle" pathway markers; and on a description of the regulation profiles for genes recently described in the Skeletal Gene Database. We also demonstrate that new array technologies constitute reliable and powerful tools to monitor the transcription of genes involved in osteoblastic differentiation, allowing a more integrated vision of the biological pathways regulated during osteoblast commitment, differentiation, and function.

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