Maturation state determines the response of osteogenic cells to surface roughness and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3

C. H. Lohmann, L. F. Bonewald, M. A. Sisk, V. L. Sylvia, D. L. Cochran, D. D. Dean, Barbara D. Boyan, Z. Schwartz

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143 Scopus citations


In this study we assessed whether osteogenic cells respond in a differential manner to changes in surface roughness depending on their maturation state. Previous studies using MG63 osteoblast-like cells, hypothesized to be at a relatively immature maturation state, showed that proliferation was inhibited and differentiation (osteocalcin production) was stimulated by culture on titanium (Ti) surfaces of increasing roughness. This effect was further enhanced by 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 [1,25(OH)2D3]. In the present study, we examined the response of three additional cell lines at three different maturation states: fetal rat calvarial (FRC) cells (a mixture of multipotent mesenchymal cells, osteoprogenitor cells, and early committed osteoblasts), OCT-1 cells (well-differentiated secretory osteoblast-like cells isolated from calvaria), and MLO-Y4 cells (osteocyte-like cells). Both OCT-1 and MLO-Y4 cells were derived from transgenic mice transformed with the SV40 large T-antigen driven by the osteocalcin promoter. Cells were cultured on Ti disks with three different average surface roughnesses (R(a)): PT, 0.5 μm; SLA, 4.1 μm; and TPS, 4.9 μm. When cultures reached confluence on plastic, vehicle or 10-7 M or 10-8 M 1,25(OH)2D3 was added for 24 h to all of the cultures. At harvest, cell number, alkaline phosphatase-specific activity, and production of osteocalcin, transforming growth factor β1 (TGF- β1) and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) were measured. Cell behavior was sensitive to surface roughness and depended on the maturation state of the cell line. Fetal rat calvarial (FRC) cell number and alkaline phosphatase-specific activity were decreased, whereas production of osteocalcin, TGF-β1 and PGE2 were increased with increasing surface roughness. Addition of 1,25(OH)2D3 to the cultures further augmented the effect of roughness for all parameters in a dose-dependent manner; only TGF-β1 production on plastic and PT was unaffected by 1,25(OH)2D3. OCT-1 cell number and alkaline phosphatase (SLA > TPS) were decreased and production of PGE2 osteocalcin, and TGF-β1 were increased on SLA and TPS. Response to 1,25(OH)2D3 varied with the parameter being measured. Addition of the hormone to the cultures had no effect on cell number or TGF-β1 production on any surface, while alkaline phosphatase was stimulated on SLA and TPS; osteocalcin production was increased on all Ti surfaces but not an plastic; and PGE2 was decreased on plastic and PT, but unaffected on SLA and TPS. In MLO-Y4 cultures, cell number was decreased on SLA and TPS; alkaline phosphatase was unaffected by increasing surface roughness; and production of osteocalin, TGF-β1, and PGE2 were increased on SLA and TPS. Although 1,25(OH)2D3 had no effect on cell number, alkaline phosphatase, or production of TGF-β1 or PGE2 on any surface, the production of osteocalcin was stimulated by 1,25(OH)2D3 on SLA and TPS. These results indicate that surface roughness promotes osteogenic differentiation of less mature cells, enhancing their responsiveness to 1,25(OH)2D3. As cells become more mature, they exhibit a reduced sensitivity to their substrate but even the terminally differentiated osteocyte is affected by changes in surface roughness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1169-1180
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Bone and Mineral Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2000


  • 1,25- dihydroxyvitamin D
  • In vitro
  • Maturation
  • Osteoblasts
  • Osteocytes
  • Surface roughness
  • Titanium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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