BMP2 induces chondrogenic differentiation, osteogenic differentiation and endochondral ossification in stem cells
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Bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP2), a member of the transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) super-family, is one of the main chondrogenic growth factors involved in cartilage regeneration. BMP2 is known to induce chondrogenic differentiation in various types of stem cells in vitro. However, BMP2 also induces osteogenic differentiation and endochondral ossification in mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). Although information regarding BMP2-induced chondrogenic and osteogenic differentiation within the same system might be essential for cartilage tissue engineering, few studies concerning these issues have been conducted. In this study, BMP2 was identified as a regulator of chondrogenic differentiation, osteogenic differentiation and endochondral bone formation within the same system. BMP2 was used to regulate chondrogenic and osteogenic differentiation in stem cells within the same culture system in vitro and in vivo. Any changes in the differentiation markers were assessed. BMP2 was found to induce chondrogenesis and osteogenesis in vitro via the expression of Sox9, Runx2 and its downstream markers. According to the results of the subcutaneous stem cell implantation studies, BMP2 not only induced cartilage formation but also promoted endochondral ossification during ectopic bone/cartilage formation. In fetal limb cultures, BMP2 promoted chondrocyte hypertrophy and endochondral ossification. Our data reveal that BMP2 can spontaneously induce chondrogenic differentiation, osteogenic differentiation and endochondral bone formation within the same system. Thus, BMP2 can be used in cartilage tissue engineering to regulate cartilage formation but has to be properly regulated for cartilage tissue engineering in order to retain the cartilage phenotype.
KeywordsBone morphogenetic protein 2 Chondrogenic differentiation Osteogenic differentiation Cartilage tissue engineering Stem cell
We acknowledge the service provided by the Chongqing Key Laboratory of Ophthalmology and the Department of Clinical Hematology at the Third Military Medical University. We thank T.C. He of the Molecular Oncology Laboratory in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at the University of Chicago for his donation of adenoviruses (Ad-BMP2, Ad-GFP).
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflicts of interest
The authors declare no conflicts of interest associated with this study.
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