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J Oral Implantol. 2012 Mar 1. [Epub ahead of print]

Si and Ca Combinatorially Target and Enhance Early MC3T3-E1 Osteoblast Expression of Osteocalcin.

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  • 1a Baylor College of Dentistry, Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences, UCSF.


Abstract This study tests the hypothesis that silicon and calcium ions combinatorially target gene expression during osteoblast differentiation. MC3T3-E1 subclone 4 osteoblasts were exposed to Si (Na2SiO3) and Ca (CaCl2) ion treatments both individually (50 ppm each + control treatment) and combinatorially (50 ppm Si + 50 ppm Ca + control treatment) and compared to control treated cells (-MEM, 10% FBS, 1% pen-strep). Cell proliferation studies showed significant increases in cell density with time (5 days), but no significant increase or decrease was observed between treatments. Cellular differentiation studies involved , additional supplementation of ascorbic acid (AA, 50 ppm) with each treatment. Relative gene expression was determined after 1 and 6 days of culture, which was consistent with the timeline for collagen type 1 (Col11, day 1), core-binding factor a (cbfa1 or Runx2, day 6), and osteocalcin (OCN, day 6) expression. Increased Si or Ca ion treatments enhanced Col11, Runx2, and OCN expression. Increased Si + Ca ion treatments enhanced OCN expression (1 day and 6 days), but did not significantly affect Col11 expression and suppressed Runx2 expression (no amplification). Collagen fiber bundles were dense, elongated, and thick for ECM exposed to Si ion and AA treatments as opposed to all other treatments. These results indicated that individual ions enhance multiple osteogenic gene expression while combined ion treatments enhanced individual gene expression. These results support the larger concept that ions (possibly released from bioactive glasses) could control bone formation by targeting osteoblast marker expression.

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