Cell and Tissue Research

, Volume 271, Issue 3, pp 499–505 | Cite as

Cells isolated from the endosteal bone surface of adult rats express differentiated osteoblastic characteristics in vitro

  • D. Modrowski
  • P. J. Marie


Endosteal bone surface cells were previously shown to be involved in the regulation of bone formation in humans. In this study, we have characterized the cells isolated from the endosteal bone surface in adult rats. Fragments of periosteum-free tibia were obtained from 4-, 6- and 9-month-old rats by collagenase digestion, and the phenotypic characteristics of the osteoblastic cells migrating from the endosteal bone surface were evaluated in culture. Endosteal bone surface cells present a strong alkaline phophatase (ALP) activity as shown by cytochemistry and measured biochemically. The cells synthesize high levels of osteocalcin as measured by radioimmunoassay. Osteocalcin production was increased after stimulation with 10 nM 1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D (1,25(OH)2 D) and the response to 1,25(OH)2 D was similar at all ages. Endosteal cells from young adult rats (4 months old) but not from older rats (6 and 9 months old) showed increased cAMP production in response to 10 nM parathyroid hormone (PTH), suggesting an agerelated decrease in the PTH-responsiveness of the bone surface cells. Immunocytochemistry using specific antibodies showed that preconfluent endosteal bone cells from adult rats expressed collagen and noncollagenous bone proteins in culture in the absence of inducers. The cells synthesized mostly type-I collagen which remained localized intracellularly. Type-III collagen was only expressed at low levels. The bone surface cells also expressed osteocalcin and bone sialoprotein, two markers of differentiated osteoblasts, as well as osteonectin. Endosteal cells plated at high density and cultured for 21 days with 50 μg/ml ascorbic acid and 10 mM β-glycerophosphate formed multiple calcified nodules, as evidenced by von Kossa staining. This study shows that cells isolated from the endosteal bone surface of adult rats express in vitro characteristics of differentiated osteoblasts. These cell cultures can be used to study the dysfunctions of endosteal bone cells in relation to disorders of bone formation in adult rats.

Key words

Parathyroid hormone 1,25 Dihydroxyvitamin D Collagen, type I Osteocalcin Alkaline phosphatase Bone sialoprotein Osteonectin Endosteal bone cells Rat (CD Charles Rivers, France) 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. Modrowski
    • 1
  • P. J. Marie
    • 1
  1. 1.Unité 349 INSERM, Cell and Molecular Biology of Bone and CartilageHospital LariboisèreParisFrance

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