, Volume 48, Issue 5, pp 326-334

Partial characterization of rat marrow stromal cells

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Fibroblast-like rat marrow stromal cell (CFU-F) cultures have been characterized in terms of their responsiveness to calciotropic hormones, metal ions, the nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug, and by their putative paracrine role in the maintenance of active populations of osteoblasts at the marrow-bone interface. These studies indicate that CFU-Fs lack a complete osteoblast signature. Subconfluent CFU-Fs grown in the presence or absence of 10−7 M dexamethasone lack receptors for PTH and calcitonin, and fail to show enhanced cAMP or cGMP responses to 10−7 M 1–34 PTH (rat), or any evidence of osteocalcin production [±10−9 M 1,25-(OH)2D3]. Low concentrations of fluoride [10−12 and 10−9 M] stimulated CFU-F grownin vitro in serum-free media, though higher levels (10−7 M) did not alter normal growth patterns, indicating an action on bone cells more differentiated than CFU-Fs. Serum-free conditioned medium (CM) from control and ovariectomized (OVX)/OVX+ dihydrotachysterol-Rx rat CFU-F cultures was mitogenic for neonatal rat calvarial osteoblastsin vitro, but not for ROS 17/2.8 cells. The studies affirm the mesenchymal-like character of CFU-Fs and project their significant role in sustaining functional endosteal osteogenic cell populations.