Send to

Choose Destination
J Cell Biochem. 2004 Nov 1;93(4):721-31.

Cytoskeletal organization of human mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) changes during their osteogenic differentiation.

Author information

Laboratorio de Biología Celular, INTA, Universidad de Chile, Casilla 138-11, Santiago, Chile.


Human MSCs have been studied to define the mechanisms involved in normal bone remodeling and the regulation of osteogenesis. During osteogenic differentiation, MSCs change from their characteristic fibroblast-like phenotype to near spherical shape. In this study, we analyzed the correlation between the organization of cytoskeleton of MSCs, changes in cell morphology, and the expression of specific markers (alkaline phosphatase activity and calcium deposition) of osteogenic differentiation. For osteoblastic differentiation, cells were cultured in a culture medium supplemented with 100 nM dexamethasone, 10 mM beta- glycerophosphate, and 50 microg/ml ascorbic acid. The organization of microfilaments and microtubules was examined by inmunofluorescence using Alexa fluor 594 phalloidin and anti alpha-tubulin monoclonal antibody. Cytochalasin D and nocodazole were used to alter reversibly the cytoskeleton dynamic. A remarkable change in cytoskeleton organization was observed in human MSCs during osteogenic differentiation. Actin cytoskeleton changed from a large number of thin, parallel microfilament bundles extending across the entire cytoplasm in undifferentiated MSCs to a few thick actin filament bundles located at the outermost periphery in differentiated cells. Under osteogenic culture conditions, a reversible reorganization of microfilaments induced by an initial treatment with cytochalasin D but not with nocodazole reduced the expression of differentiation markers, without affecting the final morphology of the cells. The results indicate that changes in the assembly and disassembly kinetics of microfilaments dynamic of actin network formation may be critical in supporting the osteogenic differentiation of human MSCs; also indicated that the organization of microtubules appears to have a regulatory role on the kinetic of this process.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center