CCN3 and bone marrow cells

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CCN3 expression was observed in a broad variety of tissues from the early stage of development. However, a kind of loss of function in mice (CCN3 del VWC domain -/-) demonstrated mild abnormality, which indicates that CCN3 may not be critical for the normal embryogenesis as a single gene. The importance of CCN3 in bone marrow environment becomes to be recognized by the studies of hematopoietic stem cells and Chronic Myeloid Leukemia cells. CCN3 expression in bone marrow has been denied by several investigations, but we found CCN3 positive stromal and hematopoietic cells at bone extremities with a new antibody although they are a very few populations. We investigated the expression pattern of CCN3 in the cultured bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells and found its preference for osteogenic differentiation. From the analyses of in vitro experiment using an osteogenic mesenchymal stem cell line, Kusa-A1, we found that CCN3 downregulates osteogenesis by two different pathways; suppression of BMP and stimulation of Notch. Secreted CCN3 from Kusa cells inhibited the differentiation of osteoblasts in separate culture, which indicates the paracrine manner of CCN3 activity. CCN3 may also affect the extracellular environment of the niche for hematopoietic stem cells.

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