Accelerated osteogenic differentiation of human bone-derived cells in ankylosing spondylitis
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Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is characterized by excessive bone formation with syndesmophytes, leading to bony ankylosis. The contribution of osteoblasts to the pathogenesis of ankylosis is poorly understood. The aim of this study was to determine molecular differences between disease controls (Ct) and AS bone-derived cells (BdCs) during osteogenic differentiation with or without inflammation using AS patient serum. We confirmed osteoblastic differentiation of Ct and AS BdCs under osteogenic medium by observing morphological changes and measuring osteoblastic differentiation markers. Osteoblast differentiation was detected by alkaline phosphatase (ALP) staining and activity, and alizarin red and hydroxyapatite staining. Osteoblast-specific markers were analyzed by quantitative reverse-transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction, immunoblotting, and immunostaining. To examine the effects of inflammation, we added AS and healthy control serum to Ct and AS BdCs, and then analyzed osteoblast-specific markers. AS BdCs showed elevated basal intercellular and extracellular ALP activity compared to Ct. When osteoblast differentiation was induced, AS BdCs exhibited higher expression of osteoblast-specific marker genes and faster mineralization than Ct, indicating that these cells differentiated more rapidly into osteoblasts. ALP activity and mineralization accelerated when serum from AS patients was added to Ct and AS BdCs. Our results revealed that AS BdCs showed significantly increased osteoblastic activity and differentiation capacity by regulating osteoblast-specific transcription factors and proteins compared to Ct BdCs. Active inflammation of AS serum accelerated osteoblastic activity. Our study could provide useful basic data for understanding the molecular mechanism of ankylosis in AS.
KeywordsAnkylosing spondylitis Osteoblastic differentiation Bone-derived cells
This work was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT & Future (NRF-2016R1A2B4008606).
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Conflict of interest
All authors have no conflicts of interest.
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