Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) are growth and differentiation factors that have been purified and widely accepted to be the most important regulators in the processes of bone formation. The aim of this study was to identify the BMPs that are expressed in normal human bone, and to investigate the specific pattern of BMP2-BMP9 expression in normal human intramembranous and endochondral bone to maintain homeostasis, as well as in ex vivo primary cell culture of human osteoblasts from intramembranous and endochondral bone. Semi-quantitative RT-PCR indicated that 2 types of bone of different embryological origin have distinct patterns of BMP expression. BMP3, 4, 7 and 8 were strongly expressed in normal intramembranous bone compared to endochondral bone, whereas BMP2 and 5 were highly expressed in endochondral bone. The expression of BMP9 and BMP15 in human bone was identified for the first time. From the very similar expression patterns of BMPs in fresh normal bone and ex vivo osteoblastic cell culture, it can be proposed that the different proportions of BMPs in normal human intramembranous and endochondral bone needed to maintain normal homeostasis. © 2006 International Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons.
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