Impact of BMP signalling and biomechanical loading on MSCs and hypertrophic chondrocytes

P. Knaus, Institute of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Freie Universität of Berlin

Abnormally hypertrophic differentiation of chondrocytes and dysbalanced extracellular matrix remodelling in articular cartilage is connected with the development of osteoarthritis . Members of the TGFβ and BMP superfamily of growth and differentiation factors are fine-tuning this process 1. Both stimulatory and inhibitory factors have been described and pathological conditions have been shown to arise from deregulation of these fundamental signalling pathways. Here we will investigate the impact of biomechanical stimulation on (1) the expression of BMP signalling components, (2) mobilisation and migration of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and precursor cells, (3) differentiation of MSCs under the influence of distinct BMPs and (4) cytoskeletal rearrangements in MSCs and precursor cells. These studies will take gender, age and physical training (under/or without defined motivation conditions) into consideration.

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