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FEBS Lett. 2006 Jan 9;580(1):121-6. Epub 2005 Dec 6.

Dimethyl sulfoxide as an inducer of differentiation in preosteoblast MC3T3-E1 cells.

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Department of Medicine, University of Hong Kong, Faculty of Medicine Building, 21 Sassoon Road, Pokfulam, Hong Kong, China.


Osteoblastic differentiation is an essential part of bone formation. Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) is a water miscible solvent that is used extensively for receptor ligands in osteoblast studies. However, little is known about its effects on osteoblastogenic precursor cells. In this study, we have used a murine preosteoblast cell line MC3T3-E1 cells to demonstrate that DMSO effectively induces osteoblastic differentiation of MC3T3-E1 cells via the activation of Runx2 and osterix and is dependent upon the protein kinase C (PKC) pathways. We further demonstrated that prolonged activation of PKC pathways is sufficient to induce osteoblastic differentiation, possibly via the activation of PKD/PKCmu.

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