Regional dura mater differentially regulates osteoblast gene expression JOURNAL OF CRANIOFACIAL SURGERY Warren, S. M., Greenwald, J. A., Nacamuli, R. P., Fong, K. D., Song, H. J., Fang, T. D., Mathy, J. A., Longaker, M. T. 2003; 14 (3): 363-370


Recent studies have suggested that regionally differentiated dura mater regulates murine cranial suture fate by providing growth factors to the osteoblasts in the overlying suture complex. To determine if regionally differentiated dura mater is capable of effecting changes in osteoblast gene expression, an in vitro coculture system was established in which osteoblast-enriched cell cultures derived from neonatal rat calvaria were grown in serum-free media in the presence of dural cells derived from posterior frontal (PF) or sagittal (SAG) dural tissues, recapitulating the in situ relation between the underlying dura mater and the osteoblasts in the overlying cranial suture. In this study, the changes in osteoblast gene expression induced by signaling from regional dura mater were examined by analyzing total cellular RNA isolated from osteoblasts cocultured with PF or SAG dural cells. The expression of extracellular matrix molecules (alkaline phosphatase, bone sialoprotein, osteopontin, and osteocalcin) and the transcription factor Msx2 was assessed. Consistent with previous data, the findings demonstrate that osteoblasts cocultured with dural cells undergo changes in gene expression indicative of a more differentiated osteoblast. Additionally, the data suggest that regionally differentiated dura mater isolated from the PF suture enhances the expression of osteogenic genes to a greater extent than SAG suture-derived dural cells. These data support an osteoinductive role for suture-derived dural cells in vitro that may have implications for suture biology in vivo.

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