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J Tissue Eng Regen Med. 2007 Jul-Aug;1(4):306-13.

Enhancement of osteoblastic differentiation of mesenchymal stromal cells cultured by selective combination of bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP-2) and fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2).

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  • 1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Nara Medical University, 840 Shijocho, Kashihara, Nara 634-8521, Japan.


It is well known that bone marrow contains mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs), which can show osteoblastic differentiation when cultured in osteogenic medium containing ascorbic acid, beta-glycerophosphate and dexamethasone. The differentiation results in the appearance of osteoblasts, together with the formation of bone matrix; thus, in vitro cultured bone (osteoblasts/bone matrix) could be fabricated by MSC culture. This type of cultured bone has already been used in clinical cases involving orthopaedic problems. To improve the therapeutic effect of the cultured bone, we investigated the culture conditions that contributed to extensive osteoblastic differentiation. Rat bone marrow was primarily cultured to expand the number of MSCs and further cultured in osteogenic medium for 12 days. The culture was also conducted in a medium supplemented with either bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP-2) or fibroblast growth factor (FGF-2), or with sequential combinations of both supplements. Among them, the sequential supplementation of FGF-2 followed by BMP-2 showed high alkaline phosphatase activity, sufficient bone-specific osteocalcein expression and abundant bone matrix formation of the MSC culture. These data implied that the number of responding cells or immature osteoblasts was increased by the supplementation of FGF-2 in the early phase of the culture and that these cells can show osteoblastic differentiation, of which capability was augmented by BMP-2 in the late phase. The sequential supplementation of these cytokines into MSC culture might be suitable for the fabrication of ideal cultured bone for use in bone tissue engineering.

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