, Volume 66, Issue 1, pp 35-42

Mineralization and Alkaline Phosphatase Activity in Collagen Lattices Populated by Human Osteoblasts

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Abstract.

Adult human osteoblastic cells were grown in a native type I collagen gel. Proliferation and viability analyses showed that cells rapidly stopped dividing and became blocked in the G0G1 phase (91% on day 13). Carboxyfluorescein diacetate cell staining and flow cytometry showed that osteoblasts were viable for the first 16 days and then viability decreased (58% viable cells on day 22). Osteoblasts were able to retract the matrix. Betaglycerophosphate (βGP) stimulated the deposition of mineral particles in the collagen network, and electron probe microanalysis showed that they were principally calcium and phosphorus, with a Ca/P ratio of about 1.7. Various times of βGP supply were tested. We compared 10 mM βGP added only once at day 0, or continuously from day 0, day 8, or day 21. Mineralization was observed in conditions where βGP was added at day 0. Furthermore, 10 mM βGP added once during gel preparation was sufficient to induce mineralization with mineral accumulation up to day 15 whereas the speed of the gel contraction decreased. In every condition, cultures expressed high alkaline phosphatase (ALP) levels as early as day 3, which decreased afterwards. These kinetics might explain why the other conditions did not prove favorable to the mineralization process. The model was used to study the influence of blocking gel retraction. Blocking retraction delayed the ALP activity decrease, but had no effect on mineralization. In conclusion, human adult osteoblasts cultured in native collagen gel stopped proliferation and underwent mineralization very early. This model should be used to investigate the influence of effectors on the early stages of culture.

Received: 15 October 1997 / Accepted: 1 July 1999