TGF-beta and basement membrane matrigel stimulate the chondrogenic phenotype in osteoblastic cells derived from fetal rat calvaria
Basic, N × Basic, V Bulic, K Grgic, M Kleinman, H K Luyten, F P Vukicevic, S #
Journal of Bone and Mineral Research vol:11 issue:3 pages:384-91
Primary cultures of fetal rat calvarial cells contain a spectrum of osteogenic phenotypes including undifferentiated mesenchymal cells, osteoprogenitor cells, and osteoblasts. We recently demonstrated that rat calvarial osteoblast-like cells grown on basement membrane undergo profound morphological changes resembling a canalicular network in bone. In the present study, we examined the effect of reconstituted basement membrane Matrigel on chondroblastic versus osteoblastic differentiation of different cell subpopulations obtained by five consecutive enzymatic digestions of rat calvarial cell populations. We found that the appearance of canalicular cell processes decreased with the later digests. When cells from the fourth and fifth digest were grown on top of Matrigel for 7 days, the majority of the cell aggregates displayed chondrocytic characteristics but none of the cells became hypertrophic. When individual chondroblastic cell aggregates were subsequently transferred from Matrigel to plastic, they started expressing types I and X collagens, alkaline phosphatase, and osteocalcin. Within the next 7 days (days 8-14 of the experiment), the majority of cells increased in size, and at day 17 on plastic (day 24 of the experiment) mineralized bone nodules formed. The chondroblastic differentiation of calvarial cells grown on Matrigel could be inhibited by a specific transforming growth factor-beta 1 (TGF-beta 1) but not by a TGF-beta 2 antibody. Addition of recombinant TGF-beta 1 to similar cultures promoted the appearance of chondroblastic cell aggregates. The cartilage phenotype could not, on the contrary, be promoted by growing the cells on other extracellular matrices such as a collagen I gel. We suggest that TGF-beta 1 in concert with the basement membrane extracellular matrix induces chondroblastic differentiation of rat calvarial osteoprogenitor cells.