Bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are dominant seed cell sources for bone regeneration. Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) initiate cartilage and bone formation in a sequential cascade. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is an essential coordinator of extracellular matrix remodeling, angiogenesis and bone formation. In the present study, the effects of the vascular endothelial growth factor 165 (VEGF165) and bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP2) genes on bone regeneration were investigated by the lentivirus-mediated cotransfection of the two genes into rat bone marrow-derived MSCs. The successful co-expression of the two genes in the MSCs was confirmed using quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and western blot analysis. The results of alizarin red and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) staining at 14 days subsequent to transfection showed that the area of staining in cells transfected with BMP2 alone was higher than that in cells transfected with BMP2 and VEGF165 or untransfected control cells, while the BMP2 + VEGF165 group showed significantly more staining than the untransfected control. This indicated that BMP2 alone exhibited a stronger effect in bone regeneration than BMP2 in combination with VEGF165. Similarly, in inducing culture medium, the ALP activity of the BMP2 + VEGF165 group was notably suppressed compared with that of the BMP2 group. The overexpression of VEGF165 inhibited BMP2-induced MSC differentiation and osteogenesis in vitro. Whether or not local VEGF gene therapy is likely to affect bone regeneration in vivo requires further investigation.
Subject classification (UKÄ)
- Clinical Laboratory Medicine