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J Orthop Res. 2013 May;31(5):746-53. doi: 10.1002/jor.22290. Epub 2012 Dec 13.

BMP-2 stimulated non-tenogenic differentiation and promoted proteoglycan deposition of tendon-derived stem cells (TDSCs) in vitro.

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  • 1Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China.


We hypothesized that BMP-2 might induce non-tenocyte differentiation and increase production of proteoglycans of tendon-derived stem cells (TDSCs). This study investigated the effects of BMP-2 on the differentiation and production of proteoglycans in TDSCs in vitro. Rat patellar TDSCs were treated without or with BMP-2. The osteogenic, adipogenic, chondrogenic, and tenogenic differentiation of TDSCs were assessed by (1) Alizarin red-S staining assay; (2) Oil Red-O staining assay; (3) haematoxylin-eosin staining, Safranin-O staining, immunohistochemical staining of Sox9, and collagen type II; and (4) qRT-PCR analysis of lineage-specific markers. The production of glycoaminoglycans (GAG) in the BMP-2-treated TDSCs was assessed by alcian blue staining. The mRNA expression of aggrecan (Acan), decorin (Dcn), biglycan (Bgn), and fibromodulin (Fmod) in TDSCs after BMP-2 treatment was assessed by qRT-PCR. BMP-2 promoted the osteogenic, adipogenic, and chondrogenic differentiation but inhibited tenogenic marker expression of TDSCs. GAG production and Acan increased while Dcn, Bgn, and Fmod decreased in TDSCs after BMP-2 stimulation. In conclusion, BMP-2 promoted GAG deposition, aggrecan expression, and enhanced non-tenocyte differentiation of TDSCs in vitro. The effect of BMP-2 on TDSCs might provide insights into the histopathological changes of tendinopathy.

Copyright © 2012 Orthopaedic Research Society.

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