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Calcif Tissue Int. 1983 Jul;35(4-5):542-8.

Effects of epidermal growth factor on osteoblastic cells in vitro.


The effect of epidermal growth factor (EGF) on clone MC3T3-El cells that have osteoblastic activity was examined by phase-contrast microscopy and electron microscopy; hydroxyproline content, collagen synthesis, collagen pattern, and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity were also determined. We found that EGF (0.4 ng/ml) transformed the cells from their normal polygonal shape to a spindle-like morphology by 8 h. This hormone also caused dose-related suppression of hydroxyproline content and ALP activity which was detectable 2 days and 1 day, respectively, after EGF addition. Indomethacin did not affect hydroxyproline content and ALP activity, suggesting that the effect of EGF on the cells may not be mediated by prostaglandins. Epidermal growth factor at concentrations of 2 to 50 ng/ml significantly decreased collagen synthesis in the cells, whereas protein synthesis was stimulated. Electron microscopy demonstrated that collagen fiber formation was also reduced by EGF; an immature type of fibril was observed compared with the typical cross-striated one in the controls. Moreover, the hormone treatment also resulted in the appearance of type III collagen in addition to the type I already present in the cells. These suppressive effects of EGF on MC3T3-El cells in vitro suggest that this hormone may be involved in bone remodelling in vivo as well.

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