The in vitro effect of recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-2 (rhBMP-2) on osteogenic and myogenic differentiation was examined in two clonal cell lines of rat osteoblast-like cells at different differentiation stages, ROB-C26 (C26) and ROB-C20 (C20). The C26 is a potential osteoblast precursor cell line that is also capable of differentiating into muscle cells and adipocytes; the C20 is a more differentiated osteoblastic cell line. Proliferation was stimulated by rhBMP-2 in C26 cells, but inhibited in C20 cells. rhBMP-2 greatly increased alkaline phosphate (ALP) activity in C26 cells, but not in C20 cells. The steady-state level of ALP mRNA was also increased by rhBMP-2 in C26 cells, but not in C20 cells. Production of 3',5'-cAMP in response to parathyroid hormone (PTH) was dose-dependently enhanced by adding rhBMP-2 in both C26 and C20 cells, though the stimulatory effect was much greater in the former. There was neither basal expression of osteocalcin mRNA nor its protein synthesis in C26 cells, but they were strikingly induced by rhBMP-2 in the presence of 1 alpha,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3. rhBMP-2 induced no appreciable changes in procollagen mRNA levels of type I and type III in the two cell lines. Differentiation of C26 cells into myotubes was greatly inhibited by adding rhBMP-2. The inhibitory effect of rhBMP-2 on myogenic differentiation was also observed in clonal rat skeletal myoblasts (L6). Like BMP-2, TGF-beta 1 inhibited myogenic differentiation. However, unlike BMP-2, TGF-beta 1 decreased ALP activity in both C26 and C20 cells. TGF-beta 1 induced neither PTH responsiveness nor osteocalcin production in C26 cells, but it increased PTH responsiveness in C20 cells. These results clearly indicate that rhBMP-2 is involved, at least in vitro, not only in inducing differentiation of osteoblast precursor cells into more mature osteoblast-like cells, but also in inhibiting myogenic differentiation.

This content is only available as a PDF.