This study examined the effect of recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-2 on several parameters of growth, differentiation, and matrix synthesis and on the endogenous production of mRNA of bone morphogenetic proteins 2 and 4 by growth plate chondrocytes in culture. Chondrocytes from resting and growth zones were obtained from rat costochondral cartilage and cultured for 24 or 48 hours in medium containing 0.05-100 ng/ml recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-2 and 10% fetal bovine serum. Incorporation of [3H]thymidine, cell number, alkaline phosphatase specific activity, incorporation of [3H]proline into collagenase-digestible protein and noncollagenase-digestible protein, and incorporation of [35S]sulfate were assayed as indicators of cell proliferation, differentiation, and extracellular matrix synthesis. mRNA levels for bone morphogenetic proteins 2 and 4 were determined by Northern blot analysis. Recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-2 increased the incorporation of [3H]thymidine by quiescent resting-zone and growth-zone cells in a similar manner, whereas it had a differential effect on nonquiescent cultures. At 24 and 48 hours, 12.5- 100 ng/ml recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-2 caused a dose- dependent increase in cell number and DNA synthesis in resting-zone chondrocytes. No effect was seen in growth-zone cells. Recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-2 stimulated alkaline phosphatase specific activity in resting-zone chondrocytes in a bimodal manner, causing significant increases between 0.2 and 0.8 ng/ml and again between 25 and 100 ng/ml. In contrast, alkaline phosphatase specific activity in growth-zone chondrocytes was significantly increased only between 12.5 and 100 ng/ml. Recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-2 increased the production of both collagenase- digestible protein and noncollagenase-digestible protein by resting-zone and growth-zone cells, but incorporation of [35S]sulfate was unaffected. Administration of recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-2 also increased incorporation of [3H]uridine in both resting-zone and growth-zone chondrocytes; these cells produced mRNA for bone morphogenetic proteins 2 and 4. Bone morphogenetic protein-2 mRNA levels in both resting-zone and growth- zone chondrocytes increased in the presence of recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-2; however, bone morphogenetic protein-4 mRNA levels in growth-zone cells decreased under its influence, and those in resting-zone cells were upregulated only with a dose of 10 ng/ml. This indicates that recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-2 regulates chondrocyte proliferation, differentiation, and matrix production, and the effects are dependent on the stage of cell maturation. Resting-zone chondrocytes were more sensitive, suggesting that they are targeted by bone morphogenetic protein-2 and that this growth factor may have autocrine effects on these cells.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine