Inhibition of histone acetylation as a tool in bone tissue engineering

Jan de Boer, R. Licht, Marloes Bongers, Tessa van der Klundert, Roel Arends, Clemens van Blitterswijk

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Our approach to bone tissue engineering is the in vitro expansion and osteogenic differentiation of bone marrow–derived human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) and their subsequent implantation on porous ceramic materials. Current osteogenic differentiation protocols use dexamethasone to initiate the osteogenic process, thus ignoring the multiple signaling pathways that control osteogenesis in vivo. Supporting osteogenesis at multiple stages might further enhance the bone-forming capacity of hMSCs. As reported previously, inhibition of so-called histone deacetylases (HDACs) stimulates osteoblast maturation, and in this report, we investigated whether trichostatin A (TSA), a widely used HDAC inhibitor, can be implemented in bone tissue engineering. We confirmed that TSA treatment of hMSCs results in increased expression of alkaline phosphatase (ALP) with concomitant increase in mineralization. Flow cytometry demonstrated that TSA increases the percentage of ALP-positive hMSCs as well as their average ALP expression level, but the robustness of the response differs between donors. Unfortunately, TSA has a profound negative effect on cell proliferation, so we investigated whether hMSCs respond to TSA after reaching confluence. Confluent hMSCs on tissue culture plastic displayed enhanced ALP expression. Therefore, we seeded TSA-treated hMSCs onto ceramic particles and analyzed ectopic bone formation upon implantation in immune-deficient mice. Unfortunately, TSA-treated hMSCs did not display better bone formation in vivo than control cells. Finally, we observed that TSA treatment strongly enhanced bone formation of ex vivo cultured mouse calvaria, which warrants further exploration of TSA in bone tissue engineering.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)2927-2937
JournalTissue engineering
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • IR-67186
  • METIS-236647

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