Osteogenic differentiation of adipose derived stem cells promoted by overexpression of osterix
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Adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs) are considered to be multipotent mesenchymal stem cells that are easily induced to differentiate into functional osteoblasts both in vitro and in vivo. Osterix (Osx) is a zinc finger-containing transcription factor of Sp gene family, which plays important roles in bone development and mineralization. In this study, we hypothesized that overexpression of Osx in murine ASCs would promote their osteogenic differentiation in vitro. A plasmid expressing Osx (pcDNA3.1-Osx) was constructed and applied to transfect monolayers of murine ASCs. Then expression of bone-related genes, nodule formation, proliferation rate, and alkaline phosphatase activity were examined to evaluate the osteogenic potential of ASCs with pcDNA3.1-Osx transfection. Results of RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry showed that pcDNA3.1-Osx transfection enhanced the expression of bone matrix proteins, such as bone sialoprotein, osteocalcin, osteopontin, and Collagen type I in ASCs. At the same time, overexpression of Osx in ASCs enhanced alkaline phosphatase activity and capability to form mineralized nodules, while not inhibited their proliferation rate. These results indicated that pcDNA3.1-Osx transfection promoted the osteogenic differentiation of ASCs, while not affecting their proliferative ability. Since they can be easily isolated and genetically modified, ASCs are hopeful cell sources in the further application of hard tissue engineering.
KeywordsAdipose derived stem cells Osterix Osteogenic differentiation Osteoblasts Overexpression
We are grateful to Prof. Ganns, University of Toronto, for kindly providing the plasmid containing the cDNA of human Osterix. We also thank Hao Yang, Key Laboratory of Transplant Immunology (Sichun University) for helpful discussion. This work was funded by the Chinese National Natural Science Foundation (30200318), the Special Project of National Grand Fundamental Research Program of China (2002CCC00700) and Teaching & Research Award for Outstanding Young Teachers in Higher Education Institutions of PR China (2003682)
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