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Bone. 2008 Nov;43(5):869-79. doi: 10.1016/j.bone.2008.07.241. Epub 2008 Jul 31.

IGF-I secreted by osteoblasts acts as a potent chemotactic factor for osteoblasts.

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  • 1Department of Biology, Osaka Medical Center for Cancer and Cardiovascular Diseases, 1-3-2 Nakamichi, Higashinari-ku, Osaka 537-8511, Japan.


Osteoblast recruitment to the site of future bone formation is essential for skeletal development, bone remodeling and fracture healing. A number of factors associated with bone tissue have been reported to induce directional migration of osteoblasts but the mechanism remains to be clarified. In this study, to explore a major chemotactic factor(s) for osteoblasts, we examined the serum-free medium conditioned by MC3T3-E1 osteoblast-like cells for its ability to induce osteoblast migration. Employing sequential chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry analysis, we purified and identified IGF-I as a potent chemotactic factor from the conditioned medium. IGF-I induced cell migration of both MC3T3-E1 cells and primary mouse osteoblasts, and checkerboard analysis revealed that IGF-I markedly induced directional migration (chemotaxis) of osteoblasts. Neutralization of mouse IGF-I with monoclonal antibodies resulted in delayed osteoblast monolayer wound healing and cellular polarization but addition of human IGF-I reversed these effects. IGF-I also promoted cell spreading on fibronectin in an integrin beta1-dependent manner. IGF-I induced Akt and Rac activation and localized accumulation of phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-triphosphate (PtdIns (3,4,5)P3) at the membrane in osteoblasts. The phosphatidyl inositol 3 kinase (PI3K) inhibitor LY294002 inhibited IGF-I-induced cell migration and wound healing. Together, the results suggest that IGF-I secreted from osteoblasts in the bone tissue is a potent chemotactic factor that may play a major role in recruitment of osteoblasts during bone formation.

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