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FEBS Lett. 2000 Jun 23;475(3):201-4.

Bone morphogenetic protein-2 stimulates adipogenic differentiation of mesenchymal precursor cells in synergy with BRL 49653 (rosiglitazone).

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  • 1Research, Bone Metabolism, Building K-125.9.13, Novartis Pharma AG, CH-4002, Basel, Switzerland.


Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) were discovered as potent bone-inducing molecules. Their effect on adipogenic differentiation is not well understood, both stimulation and inhibition of the process have been described. We show here that BMP-2 strongly stimulates adipogenic differentiation of murine 3T3-L1 preadipocytes if applied together with an agonist of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARgamma). On its own, BMP-2 (500 ng/ml) did not stimulate adipogenesis as quantified by flow cytometry with the lipophilic dye Nile Red. However, the protein strongly potentiated adipogenesis stimulated by the thiazolidinedione BRL 49653 as well as glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase activity and induction of mRNAs for the adipogenic markers PPARgamma and adipsin. We confirmed the synergistic action of BMP-2 and BRL 49653 with primary cultures of rat bone marrow stromal cells. Our data demonstrate that BMP-2 can act as a potent adipogenic agent if presented together with activators of PPARgamma.

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