Effect of extracellular calcium on the gene expression of bone morphogenetic protein-2 and -4 of normal human bone cells
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A high extracellular calcium level inhibits the formation of osteoclast-like cells and stimulates osteoblastic proliferation, indicating that extracellular calcium plays an important role in the process of bone remodeling. The present study examined the effects of a high extracellular calcium level on mRNA levels of bone morphogenetic protein (BMP)-2 and -4, which are well-documented osteoinductive proteins, and the differentiation of normal human mandible-derived bone cells in vitro. High extracellular calcium significantly increased cell proliferation at an optimal dose of 0.4 mM CaCl2 added to control medium containing 1.8 mM CaCl2. The addition of 0.1–0.4 mM CaCl2 markedly increased the mRNA levels of BMP-2 and -4 following incubation for 0.5 and 24 h as evaluated by reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction. While an increased extracellular calcium level (addition of 0.1–1.2 mM CaCl2) failed to increase alkaline phosphatase activity and osteocalcin secretion, it did significantly increase type I collagen synthesis, monitored by the production of procollagen type I carboxy-terminal peptide. These results indicate that the extracellular calcium level regulates BMPs and type I collagen synthesis in osteoblastic cells.
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