Osteogenic differentiation of bone mesenchymal stem cells regulated by osteoblasts under EMF exposure in a co-culture system

Ji-Zhe Yu, Hua Wu, Yong Yang, Chao-Xu Liu, Yang Liu, Ming-Yu Song
Journal of Huazhong University of Science and Technology. Medical Sciences 2014, 34 (2): 247-253
This study examined the osteogenic effect of electromagnetic fields (EMF) under the simulated in vivo conditions. Rat bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) and rat osteoblasts were co-cultured and exposed to 50 Hz, 1.0 mT EMF for different terms. Unexposed single-cultured BMSCs and osteoblasts were set as controls. Cell proliferation features of single-cultured BMSCs and osteoblasts were studied by using a cell counting kit (CCK-8). For the co-culture system, cells in each group were randomly chosen for alkaline phosphatase (ALP) staining on the day 7. When EMF exposure lasted for 14 days, dishes in each group were randomly chosen for total RNA extraction and von Kossa staining. The mRNA expression of osteogenic markers was detected by using real-time PCR. Our study showed that short-term EMF exposure (2 h/day) could obviously promote proliferation of BMSCs and osteoblasts, while long-term EMF (8 h/day) could promote osteogenic differentiation significantly under co-cultured conditions. Under EMF exposure, osteogenesis-related mRNA expression changed obviously in co-cultured and single-cultured cells. It was noteworthy that most osteogenic indices in osteoblasts were increased markedly after co-culture except Bmp2, which was increased gradually when cells were exposed to EMF. Compared to other indices, the expression of Bmp2 in BMSCs was increased sharply in both single-cultured and co-cultured groups when they were exposed to EMF. The mRNA expression of Bmp2 in BMSCs was approximately four times higher in 8-h EMF group than that in the unexposed group. Our results suggest that Bmp2-mediated cellular interaction induced by EMF exposure might play an important role in the osteogenic differentiation of BMSCs.

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