Correlation between ECM guidance and actin polymerization on osteogenic differentiation of human adipose-derived stem cells

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Abstract

The correlation between extracellular matrix (ECM) components, cell shape, and stem cell guidance can shed light in understanding and mimicking the functionality of stem cell niches for various applications. This interplay on osteogenic guidance of human adipose-derived stem cells (hASCs) was focus of this study. Proliferation and osteogenic markers like alkaline phosphatase activity and calcium mineralization were slightly increased by the ECM components laminin (LA), collagen I (COL), and fibronectin (FIB); with control medium no differentiation occurred. ECM guided differentiation was rather dependent on osterix than on Runx2 pathway. FIB significantly enhanced cell elongation even in presence of actin polymerization blockers cytochalasin D (CytoD) and ROCK inhibitor Y-27632, which generally caused more rounded cells. Except for the COL surface, both inhibitors increased the extent of osterix, while the Runx2 pathway was more sensitive to the culture condition. Both inhibitors did not affect hASC proliferation. CytoD enabled osteogenic differentiation independently from the ECM, while it was rather blocked via Y-27632 treatment; on FIB the general highest extent of differentiation occurred. Taken together, the ECM effect on hASCs occurs indirectly and selectively via a dominant role of FIB: it sustains osteogenic differentiation in case of a tension-dependent control of actin polymerization.

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