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Exp Cell Res. 1986 Jul;165(1):127-38.

Differentiation of rat mesenchymal cells by cartilage-inducing factor. Enhanced phenotypic expression by dihydrocytochalasin B.


The role of cell shape in chondrogenesis was studied by using rat mesenchymal cells cultured with cartilage-inducing factor (CIF). Here we report that enhanced expression of chondroblastic markers by induced cells was attained by culturing cells in monolayer in the presence of dihydrocytochalasin B (DHCB). This effect was optimal at 3 microM DHCB and was apparent after 3 days in culture. Mesenchymal cells cultured with DHCB alone exhibited no detectable increase in cartilage proteoglycan synthesis, whereas cells cultured with 3 microM DHCB and 0.1 nM CIF showed a 4-5 fold increase in proteoglycan synthesis. When cells were cultured with CIF alone on plastic, only small increases in proteoglycan synthesis were observed. Cells cultured with CIF in monolayer and then transferred to a permissive environment (either agarose or cultured with DHCB) showed enhanced synthesis of chondroblastic proteins. These results suggest that expression, but not induction, of a chondroblastic phenotype by CIF is inhibited by growth in monolayer. The altering of cell shape with DHCB releases that inhibition.

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