Heterodimeric BMP-2/7 antagonizes the inhibition of all-trans retinoic acid and promotes the osteoblastogenesis

W. Bi, Z. Gu, Y. Zheng, X. Zhang, J. Guo, G. Wu

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Hypervitaminosis A and alcoholism can result in a low mineral density and compromised regenerative capacity of bone, thus delaying implant osteointegration. The inhibitory effect of all-trans retinoic acid on osteoblastogenesis is considered to be one of the mechanisms. We hypothesized that heterodimeric bone morphogenetic protein-2/7 could antagonize all-trans retinoic acid and enhance osteoblastogenesis, with an aim to accelerate and enhance bone regeneration and implant osteointegration.

Materials and Methods
We applied 5 ng/ml or 50 ng/ml bone morphogenetic protein-2/7 to restore the osteoblastogenesis of pre-osteoblasts (MC3T3-E1 cell line) that was inhibited by 1 µM all-trans retinoic acid. We evaluated the efficacy by assessing cell numbers (proliferation), alkaline phosphatase activity (a marker for early differentiation), osteocalcin (a marker for late differentiation), calcium deposition (a marker for final mineralization) and the expression of osteoblastogenic genes (such as Runx2, Collagen Ia, alkaline phosphatase and osteocalcin) at different time points.

All-trans retinoic acid significantly inhibited the expression of all the tested osteoblastogenic genes and proteins except alkaline phosphatase activity. In the presence of ATRA, 50 ng/ml bone morphogenetic protein-2/7 not only completely restored but also significantly enhanced all the osteoblastogenic genes and proteins. On the 28th day, mineralization was completely inhibited by all-trans retinoic acid. In contrast, 50 ng/ml BMP-2/7 could antagonize ATRA and significantly enhance the mineralization about 2.5 folds in comparison with the control treatment (no ATRA, no BMP2/7).

Heterodimeric bone morphogenetic protein-2/7 bears a promising application potential to significantly promote bone regeneration and implant osteointegration for the patients with hypervitaminosis A and alcoholism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e78198
Number of pages8
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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