Adenovirus mediated BMP-13 gene transfer induces chondrogenic differentiation of murine mesenchymal progenitor cells

Hitoshi Nochi, Jin Hyung Sung, Jueren Lou, H Davis Adkisson, William J Maloney, Keith A Hruska
Journal of Bone and Mineral Research 2004, 19 (1): 111-22

UNLABELLED: Chondrogenic/osteogenic differentiation of a mesenchymal progenitor stimulated by BMP-13 (CDMP-2) was studied. C3H10T1/2 cells were transduced by an adenoviral construct containing BMP-13 or BMP-2. BMP-13 supported chondrogenesis but not terminal differentiation, whereas BMP-2 stimulated endochondral ossification. The studies show that BMP-13 may fail to support terminal chondrocyte differentiation.

INTRODUCTION: Bone morphogenetic protein (BMP)-13 is a member of the transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta) superfamily of growth factors. Although the biological functions of BMP-13 remain poorly understood, continued postnatal expression of BMP-13 in articular cartilage suggests that this protein may function in an autocrine/paracrine fashion to regulate growth and maintenance of articular cartilage. The purpose of this study was to elucidate the role of BMP-13 in chondrogenic differentiation.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Replication-deficient adenoviruses carrying human BMP-13 (Adv-hBMP13), bacterial beta-galactosidase (Adv-beta gal), and human BMP-2 (Adv-hBMP2) were constructed. Murine mesenchymal progenitor cells (C3H10T1/2) were transduced with these vectors, and differentiation to the chondrogenic lineage was assessed by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), biochemical, and histological analyses.

RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: Our findings revealed that hBMP-13 transduced cells differentiated into round cells that stained with Alcian blue. Analysis of gene expression in hBMP-13-transduced cells demonstrated presence of cartilage-specific markers, absence of hypertrophic chondrocyte specific markers, and upregulation of proteoglycan biosynthesis. In particular, hBMP-13-transduced cells had significantly less and delayed expression of alkaline phosphatase activity and calcium mineral accumulation than hBMP-2-transduced cells. Except for BMPR-IB/ALK-6, expression of BMP receptors was identified constitutively in C3H10T1/2 cells and was not affected by the presence of either of the BMPs. In summary, hBMP-13, while stimulating chondrogenesis, failed to support differentiation to hypertrophic chondrocytes and endochondral ossification similar to hBMP-2. Thus, this may prove to be a useful strategy for cell-based regeneration of articular cartilage.

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