1. The First Affiliated Hospital, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, China.
2. Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, the Second Affiliated Hospital, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, China.
3. The Children's Hospital, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, China.
*These authors contributed equally to this work.
Reconstruction of bone defects is one of the most substantial and difficult clinical challenges in orthopedics. Transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGFβ1) might play an important role in stimulating osteogenic differentiation of bone morphogenetic protein 9 (BMP9)-induced C3H10T1/2 mesenchymal stem cells. In our current study, we examined the potential synergy between TGFβ1 and BMP9 in promoting the osteogenesis of C3H10T1/2 cells, and whether such effects could contribute to bone formation in vivo. Our experiment data indicated that TGFβ1 could increase the expression of osteogenic markers and the formation of mineralized calcium nodules in, while suppressing the proliferation of, BMP9-induced C3H10T1/2 cells. Furthermore, mice intramuscularly injected with BMP9/TGFβ1-transduced C3H10T1/2 cells into the gastrocnemius muscle on their tibiae developed ectopic bone masses with more mature osteoid structures, compared to those grafted with cells expressing BMP9/RFP. Subsequent mechanistic studies found that TGFβ1-induced enhancement of osteogenesis in BMP9-overexpressing C3H10T1/2 cells was accompanied by augmented expression of heat shock protein 47 (HSP47), a collagen-specific molecular chaperone essential for collagen biosynthesis, and can be attenuated by pirfenidone, a known anti-fibrotic inhibitor. Interestingly, protein microarray analysis suggested that TGFβ1/BMP9-dependent osteogenesis of C3H10T1/2 cells seemed to involve several non-canonical signaling pathways such as Janus kinase-signal transducer and activator of transcription, phosphoinositide-3-kinase-protein kinase B, and mitogen-activated protein kinase. These results provided further evidence that TGFβ1 could promote bone formation from BMP9-induced C3H10T1/2 cells and shed important light on the underlying molecular mechanisms.
Keywords: Osteogenesis, TGFβ1, BMP9, HSP47, Bone mesenchymal stem cell