Activation of Cannabinoid Receptor 2 Enhances Osteogenic Differentiation of Bone Marrow Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells

Research Subject: Skeletal System
Author: Yong-Xin Sun, Ai-Hua Xu, Yang Yang et al.
Publish Date: 2014

Bone marrow derivedmesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs) are considered as the most promising cells source for bone engineering. Cannabinoid (CB) receptors play important roles in bone mass turnover.The aim of this study is to test if activation of CB2 receptor by chemical agonist could enhance the osteogenic differentiation and mineralization in bone BM-MSCs. Alkaline phosphatase
(ALP) activity staining and real time PCR were performed to test the osteogenic differentiation. Alizarin red staining was carried out to examine the mineralization. Small interference RNA (siRNA) was used to study the role of CB2 receptor in osteogenic differentiation. Results showed activation of CB2 receptor increased ALP activity, promoted expression of osteogenic genes, and enhanced deposition of calcium in extracellular matrix. Knockdown of CB2 receptor by siRNA inhibited ALP activity and mineralization. Results of immunofluorescent staining showed that phosphorylation of p38 MAP kinase is reduced by knocking down of CB2 receptor. Finally, bone marrow samples demonstrated that expression of CB2 receptor is much lower in osteoporotic
patients than in healthy donors. Taken together, data fromthis study suggested that activation of CB2 receptor plays important role in osteogenic differentiation of BM-MSCs. Lack of CB2 receptor may be related to osteoporosis.

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