Journal of Bone and Mineral Metabolism

, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 137–145 | Cite as

Role of epidermal growth factor receptor in osteoblastic differentiation of rat bone marrow stromal cells

  • Naoki Matsuda
  • Niranjan M. Kimar
  • Polla R. Ramakrishnan
  • Moon-Il Cho
Original Articles


In an attempt to understand the role of epidermal growth factor (EGF) and its receptor (EGF-R) in osteoblastic cell differentiation, the changes in [125I]-EGF binding capacity, synthesis of EGF-R protein, and expression of EGF-R mRNA were investigated during osteoblastic differentiation of cultured bone marrow stromal cells which were collected from the femora of young adult rats. In addition, the ability of EGF to suppress osteoblastic differentiation was also studied. Dexamethasone at a concentration of 0.1 mM increased the expression of osteoblastic markers by bone marrow stromal cells cultured in alpha-modified minimum essential medium (α-MEM) con taining 1% fetal bovine serum (FBS), 50 mg/ml ascorbic acid, and 10 mM β-glycerophosphate, as revealed by elevated alkaline phosphatase activity, an increase in osteopontin mRNA expression, and bone nodule formation. This osteoblastic differentiation was accompanied by a decreased expression of EGF-R mRNA, decreased synthesis of EGF-R protein, and a decreased number of EGF-binding sites without any change in affinity. When these cells were incubated with dexamethasone and EGF in combination throughout the culture, they exhibited significantly lower levels of all osteoblastic markers than did dexamethasonetreated cells, indicating suppression of osteoblastic differentiation by EGF. In contrast, EGF treatment of the cells induced expression of EGF-R mRNA. Thus, a decrease in EGF binding associated with osteoblastic differentiation could lead to decreased responsiveness of bone marrow cells to EGF, whereas the EGF-induced increase in expression of EGF-R could facilitate the inhibition of cell differentiation by EGF. These findings suggested that upregulation of EGF-R on bone marrow stromal cells antagonizes their differentiation, and thus possibly functions as a negative regulator of osteoblastic differentiation.

Key words

bone marrow stromal cells epidermal growth factor receptor osteoblastic differentiation dexamethasone 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Naoki Matsuda
    • 1
  • Niranjan M. Kimar
    • 2
  • Polla R. Ramakrishnan
    • 2
  • Moon-Il Cho
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratory of Cell and Stress BiologyResearch Development Corporation of JapanNagasakiJapan
  2. 2.Department of Oral Biology, School of Dental MedicineState University of New York at BuffaloBuffaloUSA

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