The ability of immature animals to orchestrate successful calvarial ossification has been well described. This capacity is markedly attenuated in mature animals and humans greater than 2 years of age. Few studies have investigated biological differences between juvenile and adult osteoblasts that mediate successful osteogenesis. To identify possible mechanisms for this clinical observation, we investigated cellular and molecular differences between primary osteoblasts derived from juvenile (2-day-old) and adult (60-day-old) rat calvaria. Data demonstrated that juvenile osteoblasts contain a subpopulation of less differentiated cells as observed by spindle-like morphology and decreased osteocalcin production. Juvenile, compared with adult, osteoblasts showed increased proliferation and adhesion. Furthermore, following rhFGF-2 stimulation juvenile osteoblasts increased expression of collagen I alpha 1 (5-fold), osteopontin (13-fold), and osteocalcin (16-fold), compared with relatively unchanged adult osteoblasts. Additionally, juvenile osteoblasts organized and produced more matrix proteins and formed 41-fold more bone nodules. Alternatively, adult osteoblasts produced more FGF-2 and preferentially translated the high molecular weight (22 kDa) form. Although adult osteoblasts transcribed more FGF-R1 and juvenile osteoblasts transcribed more FGF-R2 at baseline levels, juvenile osteoblasts translated more FGF-R1 and -R2 and showed increased phosphorylation. Collectively, these findings begin to explain why juvenile, but not adult, osteoblasts successfully heal calvarial defects.
View details for DOI 10.1074/jbc.M304698200
View details for Web of Science ID 000184782100070
View details for PubMedID 12788918