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FEBS Lett. 2011 Dec 15;585(24):4018-24. doi: 10.1016/j.febslet.2011.11.014. Epub 2011 Nov 15.

Changes in cell migration of mesenchymal cells during osteogenic differentiation.

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Department of Biology, Osaka Medical Center of Cancer and Cardiovascular Diseases, Higashinari-ku, Osaka, Japan.


We showed that the migration, morphology and adhesiveness of undifferentiated mesenchymal cells dramatically changed during osteogenic differentiation. The migration of these cells was transiently upregulated early in osteogenic differentiation. At a later stage, migration was decreased but adhesiveness was increased. Furthermore, Cdc42 and Rac1 Rho-family small GTPases were activated at early stages of differentiation and the phosphorylation level of FAK decreased as differentiation progressed. We also showed cell migration was promoted by inhibition of the Rho-ROCK-myosin signaling. Finally, using a mouse model of ectopic bone formation, we confirmed that treatment with ROCK inhibitor, Y-27632 increased cell movement into bone formation sites, resulting in enhanced osteogenesis. These results provide a new insight into the link between cell migration and osteogenic differentiation.

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