Cooperation between osteoblastic cells and endothelial cells enhances their phenotypic responses and improves osteoblast function


Osteogenesis requires close co-operation with angiogenesis to create vascularized bone tissue. In this study, an indirect co-culture model using osteoblasts (OBs), primary endothelial cells (ECs) and Matrigel interlayer was established to understand the impact of each cell type on the other. ECs synergistically enhanced osteoblastic gene expression by OBs, while OBs were capable of supporting tubule-like structures formed by ECs on Matrigel, enhancing mean tubule length from 146.5 ± 23.5 μm in ECs alone to 192 ± 28.6 μm in co-culture (p < 0.05). Similar improvements were noted in terms of tubule number. An applicability study of the co-culture model to bone tissue engineering, performed on a biopolymer fibrous membrane, showed substantially enhanced deposition of calcified nodules. These results demonstrate the efficacy of co-culture with ECs to improve osteogenesis for bone tissue engineering.

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This study was supported by grants from Priority Research Centers Program (2009-0093829) and WCU program (R31-2008-000-100069-0), National Research Foundation, South Korea.

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Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Ivan B. Wall or Hae-Won Kim.

Additional information

Tuvd Dariima and Guang-Zhen Jin contributed equally to this study.

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Dariima, T., Jin, GZ., Lee, EJ. et al. Cooperation between osteoblastic cells and endothelial cells enhances their phenotypic responses and improves osteoblast function. Biotechnol Lett 35, 1135–1143 (2013).

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  • Bone
  • Co-culture
  • Endothelial cells
  • Osteoblasts
  • Tissue engineering