Peri-implant bone formation depends on the ability of mesenchymal cells to colonize the implant surface and differentiate into osteoblasts. Human mesenchymal stem cells (HMSCs) undergo osteoblastic differentiation on microstructured titanium (Ti) surfaces in the absence of exogenous factors, but the mechanisms are unknown. Wnt proteins are associated with an osteoblast phenotype, but how Wnt signaling regulates HMSC differentiation on microstructured Ti surfaces is not known. HMSCs were cultured on tissue culture polystyrene or Ti (PT [Sa=0.33μm, θ=96°], SLA [Sa=2.5μm, θ=132°], modSLA [hydrophilic-SLA]). Expression of calcium-dependent Wnt ligand WNT5A increased and canonical Wnt pathway ligands decreased on microstructured Ti in a time-dependent manner. Treatment of HMSCs with canonical ligand Wnt3a preserved the mesenchymal phenotype on smooth surfaces. Treatment with Wnt5a increased osteoblastic differentiation. Expression of integrins ITGA1, ITGA2, and ITGAV increased over time and correlated with increased WNT5A expression. Treatment of HMSCs with Wnt5a, but not Wnt3a, increased integrin expression. Regulation of integrin expression due to surface roughness and energy was ablated in WNT5A-knockdown HMSCs. This indicates that surface properties regulate stem cell fate and induce osteoblast differentiation via the Wnt calcium-dependent pathway. Wnt5a enhances osteogenesis through a positive feedback with integrins and local factor regulation, particularly though BMP signaling.
Cell signaling; Surface roughness; Titanium; Stem cell; Growth factors
An introduction to the accompanying three papers.
Sex differences in response to sex steroids; Knee biomechanics and osteoarthritis; Pain perception in knee osteoarthritis; Musculoskeletal tissues; Estrogen; Testosterone; Rapid actions; Ligaments; Tendons; Bones; Animal models of osteoarthritis; Knee as an organ
Young female athletes experience a higher incidence of ligament injuries than their male counterparts, females experience a higher incidence of joint hypermobility syndrome (a risk factor for osteoarthritis development), and post-menopausal females experience a higher prevalence of osteoarthritis than age-matched males. These observations indicate that fluctuating sex hormone levels in young females and loss of ovarian sex hormone production due to menopause likely contribute to observed sex differences in knee joint function and risk for loss of function. In studies of osteoarthritis, however, there is a general lack of appreciation for the heterogeneity of hormonal control in both women and men. Progress in this field is limited by the relatively few preclinical osteoarthritis models, and that most of the work with established models uses only male animals. To elucidate sex differences in osteoarthritis, it is important to examine sex hormone mechanisms in cells from knee tissues and the sexual dimorphism in the role of inflammation at the cell, tissue, and organ levels. There is a need to determine if the risk for loss of knee function and integrity in females is restricted to only the knee or if sex-specific changes in other tissues play a role. This paper discusses these gaps in knowledge and suggests remedies.
Bone; Estrogen; Ligaments; Osteoarthritis; Sex differences; Sex steroids; Tendon; Testosterone
This study used molecular beacon technology to examine substrate-dependent changes in integrin subunit expression in living cells. Molecular beacons are oligonucleotide probes that can be delivered into live cells to allow for real-time imaging of mRNA. They have a stem-loop hairpin structure with a fluorophore-quencher pair, which opens when bound to the target mRNA sequence, resulting in a fluorescent signal upon excitation. A novel molecular beacon that is specific to the β1 integrin subunit mRNA was developed and used to image osteoblast-like MG63 cells in vitro on both glass and titanium surfaces of varying roughness. Specificity was verified by comparing the molecular beacon signal intensities to real-time PCR results in both wild-type cells and cells with shRNA knockdown of β1 integrin mRNA. The molecular beacon was able to detect changes due to both surface microtopography and silencing of the mRNA target. The results showed that effects of the substrate on β1 mRNA noted previously in confluent cultures were evident in pre-confluent cells as well, supporting the hypothesis that β1 integrin pairs are important in proliferation as well as differentiation of osteoblasts. This technique overcomes the limitations of traditional gene assays (PCR, immunofluorescence) by allowing for the real-time measurement and tracking of specific mRNAs in individual live cells prior to confluence.
Gene expression; Molecular imaging; Osteoblast; Titanium; Integrin
Ideal outcomes in the field of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine involve biomaterials that can enhance cell differentiation and production of local factors for natural tissue regeneration without the use of systemic drugs. Biomaterials typically used in tissue engineering applications include polymeric scaffolds that mimic the 3-D structural environment of the native tissue, but these are often functionalized with proteins or small peptides to improve their biological performance. For bone applications, titanium (Ti) implants, or more appropriately the titania (TiO2) passive oxide layer formed on their surface, have been shown to enhance osteoblast differentiation in vitro and to promote osseointegration in vivo. In this study we evaluated the effect on osteoblast differentiation of pure TiO2 nano-fiber meshes with different surface micro-roughness and nano-fiber diameters, prepared by the electrospinning method. MG63 cells were seeded on TiO2 meshes, and cell number, differentiation markers and local factor production were analyzed. The results showed that cells grew throughout the entire surfaces and with similar morphology in all groups. Cell number was sensitive to surface micro-roughness, whereas cell differentiation and local factor production was regulated by both surface roughness and nano-fiber diameter. These results indicate that scaffold structural cues alone can be used to drive cell differentiation and create an osteogenic environment without the use of exogenous factors.
nano structures; electrospinning; scaffold; titanium implant; tissue engineering; bone
The occurrence of knee osteoarthritis (OA) increases with age and is more common in women compared with men, especially after the age of 50 years. Recent work suggests that contact stress in the knee cartilage is a significant predictor of the risk for developing knee OA. Significant gaps in knowledge remain, however, as to how changes in musculoskeletal traits disturb the normal mechanical environment of the knee and contribute to sex differences in the initiation and progression of idiopathic knee OA. To illustrate this knowledge deficit, we summarize what is known about the influence of limb alignment, muscle function, and obesity on sex differences in knee OA. Observational data suggest that limb alignment can predict the development of radiographic signs of knee OA, potentially due to increased stresses and strains within the joint. However, these data do not indicate how limb alignment could contribute to sex differences in either the development or worsening of knee OA. Similarly, the strength of the knee extensor muscles is compromised in women who develop radiographic and symptomatic signs of knee OA, but the extent to which the decline in muscle function precedes the development of the disease is uncertain. Even less is known about how changes in muscle function might contribute to the worsening of knee OA. Conversely, obesity is a stronger predictor of developing knee OA symptoms in women than in men. The influence of obesity on developing knee OA symptoms is not associated with deviation in limb alignment, but BMI predicts the worsening of the symptoms only in individuals with neutral and valgus (knock-kneed) knees. It is more likely, however, that obesity modulates OA through a combination of systemic effects, particularly an increase in inflammatory cytokines, and mechanical factors within the joint. The absence of strong associations of these surrogate measures of the mechanical environment in the knee joint with sex differences in the development and progression of knee OA suggests that a more multifactorial and integrative approach in the study of this disease is needed. We identify gaps in knowledge related to mechanical influences on the sex differences in knee OA.
Knee joint; Limb alignment; Muscle function; Obesity; Osteoarthritis; Sex differences
People with osteoarthritis (OA) can have significant pain that interferes with function and quality of life. Women with knee OA have greater pain and greater reductions in function and quality of life than men. In many cases, OA pain is directly related to sensitization and activation of nociceptors in the injured joint and correlates with the degree of joint effusion and synovial thickening. In some patients, however, the pain does not match the degree of injury and continues after removal of the nociceptors with a total joint replacement. Growth of new nociceptors, activation of nociceptors in the subchondral bone exposed after cartilage degradation, and nociceptors innervating synovium sensitized by inflammatory mediators could all augment the peripheral input to the central nervous system and result in pain. Enhanced central excitability and reduced central inhibition could lead to prolonged and enhanced pain that does not directly match the degree of injury. Psychosocial variables can influence pain and contribute to pain variability. This review explores the neural and psychosocial factors that contribute to knee OA pain with an emphasis on differences between the sexes and gaps in knowledge.
Osteoarthritis; Pain; Sex differences; Gender; Nociceptor; Central sensitization; Psychosocial; Catastrophizing
Adipose stem cells (ASCs) secrete many trophic factors that can stimulate tissue repair, including angiogenic factors, but little is known about how ASCs and their secreted factors influence cartilage regeneration. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine the effects ASC-secreted factors have in repairing chondral defects.
ASCs isolated from male Sprague Dawley rats were cultured in monolayer or alginate microbeads supplemented with growth (GM) or chondrogenic medium (CM). Subsequent co-culture, conditioned media, and in vivo cartilage defect studies were performed.
ASC monolayers and microbeads cultured in CM had decreased FGF-2 gene expression and VEGF-A secretion compared to ASCs cultured in GM. Chondrocytes co-cultured with GM-cultured ASCs for 7 days had decreased mRNAs for col2, comp, and runx2. Chondrocytes treated for 12 or 24 hours with conditioned medium from GM-cultured ASCs had reduced sox9, acan, and col2 mRNAs; reduced proliferation and proteoglycan synthesis; and increased apoptosis. ASC-conditioned medium also increased endothelial cell tube lengthening whereas conditioned medium from CM-cultured ASCs had no effect. Treating ASCs with CM reduced or abolished these deleterious effects while adding a neutralizing antibody for VEGF-A eliminated ASC-conditioned medium induced chondrocyte apoptosis and restored proteoglycan synthesis. FGF-2 also mitigated the deleterious effects VEGF-A had on chondrocyte apoptosis and phenotype. When GM-grown ASC pellets were implanted in 1 mm non-critical hyaline cartilage defects in vivo, cartilage regeneration was inhibited as evaluated by radiographic and equilibrium partitioning of an ionic contrast agent via microCT imaging. Histology revealed that defects with GM-cultured ASCs had no tissue ingrowth from the edges of the defect whereas empty defects and defects with CM-grown ASCs had similar amounts of neocartilage formation.
ASCs must be treated to reduce the secretion of VEGF-A and other factors that inhibit cartilage regeneration, which can significantly influence how ASCs are used for repairing hyaline cartilage.
Alginate calcification has been previously reported clinically and during animal implantation; however no study has investigated the mechanism, extensively characterized the mineral, or evaluated multiple methods to regulate or eliminate mineralization. In the present study, alginate calcification was first studied in vitro: calcium-crosslinked alginate beads sequestered surrounding phosphate while forming traces of hydroxyapatite. Calcification in vivo was then examined in nude mice using alginate microbeads with and without adipose stem cells (ASCs). Variables included the delivery method, site of delivery, sex of the animal, time in vivo, crosslinking solution, and method of storage prior to delivery. Calcium-crosslinked alginate microbeads mineralized when injected subcutaneously or implanted intramuscularly after 1–6 months. More extensive analysis with histology, microCT, FTIR, XRD, and EDS showed calcium phosphate deposits throughout the microbeads with surface mineralization that closely matched hydroxyapatite found in bone. Incorporating 25 mM bisphosphonate reduced alginate calcification whereas using barium chloride eliminated mineralization. Buffering the crosslinking solution with HEPES at pH 7.3 while washing and storing samples in basal media prior to implantation also eliminated calcification in vivo. This study shows that alginate processing prior to implantation can significantly influence bulk hydroxyapatite formation and presents a method to regulate alginate calcification.
Calcification; Alginate; Microencapsulation; Adipose stem cell microbeads; Bone tissue engineering
Titanium (Ti) osseointegration is critical for the success of dental and orthopaedic implants. Previous studies have shown that surface roughness at the micro- and submicro-scales promotes osseointegration by enhancing osteoblast differentiation and local factor production. Only relatively recently have the effects of nanoscale roughness on cell response been considered. The aim of the present study was to develop a simple and scalable surface modification treatment that introduces nanoscale features to the surfaces of Ti substrates without greatly affecting other surface features, and to determine the effects of such superimposed nano-features on the differentiation and local factor production of osteoblasts. A simple oxidation treatment was developed for generating controlled nanoscale topographies on Ti surfaces, while retaining the starting micro-/submicro-scale roughness. Such nano-modified surfaces also possessed similar elemental compositions, and exhibited similar contact angles, as the original surfaces, but possessed a different surface crystal structure. MG63 cells were seeded on machined (PT), nano-modified PT (NMPT), sandblasted/acid-etched (SLA), and nano-modified SLA (NMSLA) Ti disks. The results suggested that the introduction of such nanoscale structures in combination with micro-/submicro-scale roughness improves osteoblast differentiation and local factor production, which, in turn, indicates the potential for improved implant osseointegration in vivo.
(4 to 6) nanotopography; titanium oxide; surface roughness; titanium; bone; implant; osteoblasts
Growth plate chondrocytes produce proteoglycan-rich type II collagen extracellular matrix (ECM). During cell maturation and hypertrophy, ECM is reorganized via a process regulated by 1α,25(OH)2D3 and involving matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), including MMP-3and MMP-2. 1α,25(OH)2D3 regulates MMP incorporation into matrix vesicles (MVs), where they are stored until released. Like plasma membranes (PM), MVs contain the 1α,25(OH)2D3-binding protein ERp60, phospholipase A2 (PLA2), and caveolin-1, but lack nuclear vitamin D receptors (VDRs). Chondrocytes produce 1α,25(OH)2D3 (10−8M), which binds ERp60, activating PLA2, and resulting lysophospholipids lead MV membrane disorganization, releasing active MMPs. MV MMP-3 activates TGF-β1 stored in the ECM as large latent TGF-β1 complexes, consisting of latent TGF-β1 binding protein, latency associated peptide, and latent TGF-β1. Others have shown that MMP-2 specifically activates TGF-β2. TGF-β1 regulates 1α,25(OH)2D3-production, providing a mechanism for local control of growth factor activation. 1α,25(OH)2D3 activates PKCα in the PM via ERp60-signaling through PLA2, lysophospholipid production, and PLCβ. It also regulates distribution of phospholipids and PKC isoforms between MVs and PMs, enriching the MVs in PKCζ. Direct activation of MMP-3 in MVs requires ERp60. However, when MVs are treated with 1α,25(OH)2D3, PKCζ activity is decreased and PKCα is unaffected, suggesting a more complex feedback mechanism, potentially involving MV lipid signaling.
1α,25(OH)2D3; Matrix vesicles; Growth plate chondrocytes; Rapid actions; Matrix metalloproteinases; TGF-β1 activation; TGF-β2
Surface microroughness increases osteoblast differentiation and enhances responses of osteoblasts to 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 [1α,25(OH)2D3]. β1 integrin expression is increased in osteoblasts grown on Ti substrates with rough microarchitecture, and it is regulated by 1α,25(OH)2D3 in a surface-dependent manner, suggesting that it has a role in mediating osteoblast response. Here, we silenced β1 expression in MG63 human osteoblast-like cells using small interfering RNA (siRNA) and examined the responses of the β1-silenced osteoblasts to surface microtopography and 1α,25(OH)2D3. MG63 cells were also treated with two different monoclonal antibodies to human β1 to block ligand binding. β1-silenced MG63 cells grown on a tissue culture plastic had reduced alkaline phosphatase activity and levels of osteocalcin, transforming growth factor β1, prostaglandin E2, and osteoprotegerin in comparison with control cells. Moreover, β1-silencing inhibited the effects of surface roughness on these parameters and partially inhibited effects of 1α,25(OH)2D3. Anti β1 antibody AIIB2 had no significant effect on cell number and osteocalcin, but decreased alkaline phosphatase; MAB2253Z decreased cell number and alkaline phosphatase and increased osteocalcin in a dose-dependent manner. Effects of 1α,25(OH)2D3 on cell number and alkaline phosphatase were reduced and effects on osteocalcin were increased. These findings indicate that β1 plays a major and complex role in osteoblastic differentiation modulated by either surface microarchitecture or 1α,25(OH)2D3. The results also show that β1 mediates, in part, the synergistic effects of surface roughness and 1α,25(OH)2D3.
1α; 25(OH)2D3; β1 integrin subunit; Ti surface roughness; osteoblasts
Dendritic cells (DCs) play pivotal roles in responding to foreign entities during an innate immune response and initiating effective adaptive immunity as well as maintaining immune tolerance. The sensitivity of DCs to foreign stimuli also makes them useful cells to assess the inflammatory response to biomaterials. Elucidating the material property-DC phenotype relationships using a well-defined biomaterial system is expected to provide criteria for immuno-modulatory biomaterial design. Clinical titanium (Ti) substrates, including pretreatment (PT), sand-blasted and acid-etched (SLA), and modified SLA (modSLA), with different roughness and surface energy were used to treat DCs and resulted in differential DC responses. PT and SLA induced a mature DC (mDC) phenotype, while modSLA promoted a non-inflammatory environment by supporting an immature DC (iDC) phenotype based on surface marker expression, cytokine production profiles and cell morphology. Principal component analysis (PCA) confirmed these experimental results, and it also indicated that the non-stimulating property of modSLA covaried with certain surface properties, such as high surface hydrophilicity, % oxygen and % Ti of the substrates. In addition to the previous research that demonstrated the superior osteogenic property of modSLA compared to PT and SLA, the result reported herein indicates that modSLA may further benefit implant osteo-integration by reducing local inflammation and its associated osteoclastogenesis.
dendritic cells; titanium; immune response; inflammation
The cell response to an implant is regulated by the implant’s surface properties including topography and chemistry, but less in known about how the mechanical properties affect cell behavior. The objective of this study was to evaluate how the surface stiffness and chemistry of acrylate-based copolymer networks affect the in vitro response of human MG63 pre-osteoblast cells. Networks comprised of poly(ethylene gycol) dimethacrylate (PEGDMA; Mn~750) and diethylene glycol dimethacrylate (DEGDMA) were photopolymerized at different concentrations to produce three compositions with moduli ranging from 850 to 60MPa. To further decouple chemistry and stiffness, three networks comprised of 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate (2HEMA) and PEGDMA or DEGDMA were also designed that exhibited a range of moduli similar to the PEGDMA-DEGDMA networks. MG63 cells were cultured on each surface and tissue culture polystyrene (TCPS), and the effect of copolymer composition on cell number, osteogenic markers (alkaline phosphatase specific activity and osteocalcin), and local growth factor production (OPG, TGF-β1, and VEGF-A) was assessed. Cells exhibited a more differentiated phenotype on the PEGDMA-DEGDMA copolymers compared to the 2HEMA-PEGDMA copolymers. On the PEGDMA-DEGDMA system, cells exhibited a more differentiated phenotype on the stiffest surface indicated by elevated osteocalcin compared with TCPS. Conversely, cells on 2HEMA-PEGDMA copolymers became more differentiated on the less stiff 2HEMA surface. Growth factors were regulated in a differential manner. These results indicate that copolymer chemistry is the primary regulator of osteoblast differentiation, and the effect of stiffness is secondary to the surface chemistry.
Surface Stiffness; Osteoblasts; Hydroxyethyl methacrylate; Polyethylene glycol dimethacrylate; In vitro; mineralized and demineralized bone
Rough titanium (Ti) surface microarchitecture and high surface energy have been shown to increase osteoblast differentiation, and this response occurs through signaling via the α2β1 integrin. However, clinical success of implanted materials is dependent not only upon osseointegration but also on neovascularization in the peri-implant bone. Here we tested the hypothesis that Ti surface microtopography and energy interact via α2β1 signaling to regulate the expression of angiogenic growth factors. Primary human osteoblasts (HOB), MG63 cells and MG63 cells silenced for α2 integrin were cultured on Ti disks with different surface microtopographies and energies. Secreted levels of vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A), basic fibroblast growth factor (FGF-2), epidermal growth factor (EGF), and angiopoietin-1 (Ang-1) were measured. VEGF-A increased 170% and 250% in MG63 cultures, and 178% and 435% in HOB cultures on SLA and modSLA substrates, respectively. In MG63 cultures, FGF-2 levels increased 20 and 40-fold while EGF increased 4 and 6-fold on SLA and modSLA surfaces. These factors were undetectable in HOB cultures. Ang-1 levels were unchanged on all surfaces. Media from modSLA MG63 cultures induced more rapid differentiation of endothelial cells and this effect was inhibited by anti-VEGF-A antibodies. Treatment of MG63 cells with 1α,25(OH)2D3 enhanced levels of VEGF-A on SLA and modSLA. Silencing the α2 integrin subunit increased VEGF-A levels and decreased FGF-2 levels. These results show that Ti surface microtopography and energy modulate secretion of angiogenic growth factors by osteoblasts and that this regulation is mediated at least partially via α2β1 integrin signaling.
Titanium; microstructure; surface energy; osteoblast; angiogenesis; VEGF
A consortium of investigator-thought leaders was convened at the Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and produced the following summary points:
Point 1: Important sex differences exist in cardiovascular disease (CVD) that affect disease initiation, diagnosis, and treatment.Implication: Research that acknowledges these differences is needed to optimize outcomes in women and men.Point 2: Atherosclerosis is qualitatively and quantitatively different in women and men; women demonstrate more plaque erosion and more diffuse plaque with less focal artery lumen intrusion.Implication: Evaluation of CVD strategies that include devices should be used to explore differing anatomical shapes and surfaces as well as differing drug coating and eluting strategies.Point 3: Bone marrow progenitor cells (PCs) engraft differently based on the sex of the donor cell and the sex of the recipient.Implication: PC therapeutic studies need to consider the sex of cells of the source and the recipient.Point 4: Women have a greater risk of venous but not arterial thrombosis compared with men, as well as more bleeding complications related to anticoagulant treatment. Several genes coding for proteins involved in hemostasis are regulated by sex hormones.Implications: Research should be aimed at evaluation of sex-based differences in response to anticoagulation based on genotype.Point 5: Women and men can have differences in pharmacological response.Implication: Sex-specific pharmacogenomic studies should be included in pharmacological development.Point 6: CVD progression results from an imbalance of cell injury and repair in part due to insufficient PC repair, which is affected by sex differences, where females have higher circulating levels of PCs with greater rates of tissue repair.Implication: CVD regenerative strategies should be directed at learning to deliver cells that shift the recipient balance from injury toward repair. CVD repair strategies should ideally be tested first in females to have the best chance of success for proof-of-concept.
Microstructured and high surface energy titanium substrates increase osseointegration in vivo. In vitro, osteoblast differentiation is increased, but effects of the surface directly on multipotent mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and consequences for MSCs in the peri-implant environment are not known. We evaluated responses of human MSCs to substrate surface properties and examined the underlying mechanisms involved. MSCs exhibited osteoblast characteristics (alkaline phosphatase, RUNX2, and osteocalcin) when grown on microstructured Ti; this effect was more robust with increased hydrophilicity. Factors produced by osteoblasts grown on microstructured Ti were sufficient to induce co-cultured MSC differentiation to osteoblasts. Silencing studies showed that this was due to signaling via α2β1 integrins in osteoblasts on the substrate surface and paracrine action of secreted Dkk2. Thus, human MSCs are sensitive to substrate properties that induce osteoblastic differentiation; osteoblasts interact with these surface properties via α2β1 and secrete Dkk2, which acts on distal MSCs.
Osseointegration depends on the implant surface, bone quality and the local and systemic host environment, which can differ in male and female patients. This study was undertaken in order to determine if male and female cells respond differently to titanium surfaces that have micron-scale roughness and if interactions of calciotropic hormones [1α,25(OH)2D3 and 17β-oestradiol (E2)] and microstructured surfaces on osteoblasts are sex dependent.
Osteoblasts from 6-week old Sprague-Dawley rats were cultured on tissue culture polystyrene (TCPS) or on titanium (Ti) disks with two different surface topographies, a smooth pretreated (PT) surface and a coarse grit-blasted/acid-etched (SLA) surface, and treated with 1α,25(OH)2D3, E2, or E2 conjugated to bovine serum albumin (E2-BSA).
Male and female cells responded similarly to Ti microstructure with respect to cell number and levels of osteocalcin, transforming growth factor-β1, osteoprotegerin and prostaglandin E2 in their conditioned media, exhibiting a more differentiated phenotype on SLA than on PT or TCPS. E2 and E2-BSA increased differentiation and local factor production, an effect that was microstructure dependent and found only in female osteoblasts. 1α,25(OH)2D3 increased osteoblast differentiation and local factor production in female and male cells, but the effect was more robust in male cells.
Male and female rat osteoblasts respond similarly to surface microstructure but exhibit sexual dimorphism in substrate-dependent responses to systemic hormones. Oestrogen affected only female cells while 1α,25(OH)2D3 had a greater effect on male cells. These results suggest that successful osseointegration in males and females may depend on the implant surface design and correct levels of calciotropic hormones.