Integrin expression by human osteoblasts cultured on degradable polymeric materials applicable for tissue engineered bone

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The use of biodegradable polymers in the field of orthopaedic surgery has gained increased popularity, as surgical pins and screws, and as potential biological scaffolds for repairing cartilage and bone defects. One such group of polymers that has gained considerable attention are the polyesters, poly(lactide-co-glycolide) (PLAGA) and polylactic acid (PLA), because of their minimal tissue inflammatory response, favorable biocompatibility and degradation characteristics. The objective of this study was to evaluate human osteoblastic cell adherence and growth on PLAGA and PLA scaffolds by examining integrin receptor (α2, α3, α4, α5, α6 and β1) expression. Primary human osteoblastic cells isolated from trabecular bone adhered efficiently to both PLAGA and PLA, with the rate of adherence on PLAGA comparable to that of control tissue culture polystyrene (TCPS), and significantly higher than on PLA polymers at 3, 6 and 12 h. Human osteoblastic phenotypic expression, alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity was positive on both degradable matrices, whereas osteocalcin levels were significantly higher on cells grown on PLAGA than on PLA composites. Interestingly, the integrin subunits, α2, α3, α4, α5, α6 and β1 were all expressed at higher levels by osteoblasts cultured on PLAGA than those on PLA as analyzed by westerns blots and by flow cytometry. Among the integrins, α2, α5 and β1 showed the greatest difference in levels between the two surfaces. Thus, both PLA and PLAGA support osteoblastic adhesion and its accompanying engagement of integrin receptor and expression of osteocalcin and ALP. However PLAGA consistently appeared to be a better substrate for osteoblastic cells based on these parameters. This study is one of the first to investigate the ability of primary human osteoblastic cells isolated from trabecular bone to adhere to the biodegradable polymers PLAGA and PLA, and to examine the expression of their key adhesion receptors (integrins) on these substrates. © 2002 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.




El-Amin, S. F., Attawia, M., Lu, H. H., Shah, A. K., Chang, R., Hickok, N. J., … Laurencin, C. T. (2002). Integrin expression by human osteoblasts cultured on degradable polymeric materials applicable for tissue engineered bone. Journal of Orthopaedic Research, 20(1), 20–28.

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