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J Orthop Res. 2001 Nov;19(6):993-1000.

Early cell adhesion events differ between osteoporotic and non-osteoporotic osteoblasts.

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Dows Institute for Dental Research, College of Dentistry, The University of Iowa, Iowa City 52242, USA.


In osteoporosis, the regenerative capacity of bone is compromised, which may involve altered osteoblast (OB) activity. This could be attributed to an inappropriate synthesis and assembly of an extracellular matrix (ECM), altered cell adhesion to the ECM, or be due to inappropriate downstream activation of adhesion-mediated signaling cascades through proteins such as focal adhesion kinase (FAK). The purpose of our study was to compare early adhesion-mediated events using previously described and characterized clinically derived OBs obtained from human patients undergoing major joint arthroplasty for osteoporosis or osteoarthritis. The presence or absence of osteoporosis was established with a radiographic index. Using light microscopy and crystal violet staining, we show that OB cells derived from sites of osteoporosis do not attach and spread as well as non-osteoporotic (OP) OB cells. OP cells initially have a more rounded morphology, and show significantly less (P < 0.001) attachment to serum-coated tissue culture plastic over a 24 h time period. Immunofluorescent labeling after 24 h of attachment showed that OP OB focal adhesions (FAs) and stress fibers were less defined, and that the OP cells were smaller and had a more motile phenotype. When normalized protein lysates were Western blotted for phosphotyrosine (PY) a band corresponding to pp125FAK was identified. FAK tyrosine phosphorylation was evident at 6 h in both the OP and non-OP OBs, but decreased or was absent through 24 h in OP OBs. These results suggest early adhesion-mediated events, such as cell adhesion, attachment, and FAK signaling via PY may be altered in OP OBs.

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