In the current study, treatment of the rat osteogenic cell line ROB-C26 cells with fibroblast growth factor 8 (FGF8) stimulated alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity, and also induced the expression of the Runx2 transcription factor, and increased the activity of a luciferase reporter gene containing the osteocalcin (OCN) promoter and six copies of the osteoblast specific cis-acting element 2 (OSE2) response element. In contrast, FGF8 treatment of the mouse myoblast cell line C2C12 inhibited the expression of desmin and the synthesis of myotubes. The expression of MyoD, Myogenin, Foxc2, and Hand1 was also decreased by FGF8. Transient expression of Foxc2 in C2C12 cells induced the expression of Hand1, and chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) analysis indicated that Foxc2 binds to the promoter region of the Hand1 gene. These results indicated that Foxc2 is directly involved in the regulation of Hand1 expression. The results of the current study indicate that FGF8 regulates myoblast differentiation through the regulation of MyoD expression, and that this regulation is independent of Hand1 in cultured cells. Conversely, FGF8 supports bone development and cell differentiation though the induction of Runx2 expression.
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