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Cell Physiol Biochem. 2004;14(4-6):325-32.

Human primary endothelial cells stimulate human osteoprogenitor cell differentiation.

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Inserm U577, Université Victor Segalen Bordeaux 2, France.


Bone development and remodeling depend on complex interactions between bone-forming osteoblasts and other cells present within the bone microenvironment, particularly endothelial cells that may be pivotal members of a complex interactive communication network in bone. While cell cooperation was previously established between Human OsteoProgenitor cells (HOP) and Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells (HUVEC) the aim of our study was to investigate if this interaction is specific to Human Endothelial cell types (ECs) from different sources. Osteoblastic cell differentiation analysis performed using different co-culture models with direct contact revealed that Alkaline Phosphatase (Al-P) activity was only increased by the direct contact of HOP with human primary vascular endothelial cell types including endothelial precursor cells (EPCs) isolated from blood cord, endothelial cells from Human Saphen Vein (HSV) while a transformed cell line, the Human Bone Marrow Endothelial Cell Line (HBMEC) did not modify osteoblastic differentiation of HOP. Because connexin 43, a specific gap junction protein, seemed to be involved in HUVEC/HOP cell cooperation, expression by RT-PCR and immunocytochemistry of this gap junctional protein was investigated in EPCs, HSV and HBMEC. Both endothelial cells are positive to this protein and the disruption of gap junction communication using 18alpha-glycyrrhetinic acid treatment decreased the positive effect of these endothelial co-cultures on HOP differentiation as was previously demonstrated for HUVEC and HOP co-cultures. These data seem to indicate that this cross talk between HOP and ECs, through gap junction communication constitutes an additional concept in cell differentiation control.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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