Expression of BMP-2 by rat bone marrow stromal cells in culture

L. X. Bi, D. J. Simmons, E. Mainous

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


To investigate the role of bone morphogenetic protein (BMP-2) in ossifying rat bone marrow stromal cell cultures, we determined the population of fibroblast-like stromal cells that expressed BMP-2 immunocytochemically (anti-rhBMP-2 monoclonal antibody), and compared that to alkaline phosphatase (AP) and collagen synthesis formed in culture over a 4-week period in control and dexamethasone-supplemented mineralizing media. In control media, the percentage of BMP-2-positive stromal cells (BMP-2+) increased from 12 to 25% within the first 4 days of culture. In mineralizing media, the level of BMP- 2+ cells was significantly increased (43-44%). The intensity of immunostaining gradually increased with time. The levels of AP were undetectable at 1 week in both control and mineralizing media, but increased gradually over the next 2 weeks and peaked at 3 weeks. ALP levels were significantly greater in cultures grown in mineralizing medium (P < 0.05 at 3 weeks, P < 0.01 at 4 weeks). Collagen synthesis peaked and was significantly greater at 3 weeks (P < 0.05) in cultures grown in mineralizing medium. The levels of AP and collagen synthesis most closely reflected the changes in the percentage of BMP-2+ cells from 7 to 28 days. Though these changes may reflect a primary action of BMP-2 on marrow osteoprogenitor-like stromal cells, they do not exclude a mechanism that involves the induction of other members of the BMP family known to stimulate AP and collagen synthesis. We conclude that BMP-2 expression in cultures of fibroblast-like marrow stromal cells is enhanced when those cells are induced to become osteoblasts by exposure to dexamethasone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-68
Number of pages6
JournalCalcified Tissue International
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Alkaline phosphatase
  • Bone matrix
  • Bone morphogenetic protein
  • Collagen
  • Marrow stromal cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Endocrinology


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