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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Terminal differentiation and calcification in rabbit chondrocyte cultures grown in centrifuge tubes: regulation by transforming growth factor beta and serum factors.

Rabbit chondrocyte cultures on plastic dishes are capable of depositing a cartilaginous matrix, although the matrix does not calcify unless high levels of phosphate are added to the medium. In the present study, we cultivated a pelleted mass of rabbit growth-plate chondrocytes in the presence of Eagle's minimum essential medium supplemented with 10% fetal bovine serum and 50 micrograms of ascorbic acid per ml in a plastic centrifuge tube. These cells proliferated for several generations and then reorganized into a cartilage-like tissue that calcified without additional phosphate. The deposition of minerals was observed only after synthesis of a short-chain collagen and alkaline phosphatase. Serum factors were required for the increases in alkaline phosphatase and calcium contents. 5-Bromo-2'-deoxyuridine abolished the increases in uronic acid, alkaline phosphatase, and calcium contents. Transforming growth factor beta, at very low concentrations, suppressed the expression of the mineralization-related phenotype by chondrocytes. These results suggest that cartilage-matrix calcification can be controlled by growth factor(s) and that chondrocytes induce the mineralization of extracellular matrix when terminal differentiation is permitted in the absence of an artificial substrate.[1]


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