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Bone. 1992;13(2):197-201.

Modulation of thrombospondin gene expression during osteoblast differentiation in MC3T3-E1 cells.

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Department of Biochemistry, University of Washington, Seattle 98195.


The levels of expression of two related extracellular matrix protein genes, thrombospondins 1 and 2 (TSP1 and TSP2), were analyzed in the mouse osteogenic cell line, MC3T3-E1. To monitor differentiation, we also measured two potential markers of the osteoblastic phenotype, alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity, and alpha 1(I) collagen mRNA levels. TSP1 mRNA levels increased 10- to 15-fold during the first nine days of osteoblastic conversion, and then dropped to a level still significantly above baseline values. This increase in TSP1 mRNA closely paralleled that observed in ALP activity. In contrast, TSP2 mRNA levels were unchanged throughout the 21-day time course. These findings suggest that TSP1 is a marker for osteoblast differentiation and could play a role in the cellular changes that accompany acquisition of the osteoblastic phenotype in MC3T3-E1 cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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