Original Scientific Article

International Journal of Oral Science (2009) 1, 143–150; doi:10.4248/IJOS.09021

Expression of Bonerelated Genes in Bone Marrow MSCs after Cyclic Mechanical Strain: Implications for Distraction Osteogenesis

Mengchun Qi1,2, Shujuan Zou1, Lichi Han1, Haixiao Zhou1 and Jing Hu1

  1. 1State Key Laboratory of Oral Diseases, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China
  2. 2Department of Stomatology, NorthChina Coal Medical College, Tangshan, China

Correspondence: Jing Hu, State Key Laboratory of Oral Diseases, West China College of Stomatology, Sichuan University, No. 14, 3rd Section, Renmin South Road, Chengdu 610041, China Fax: 86 28 85582167 E-mail: drhu@vip.sohu.com

Received 11 April 2009; Revised 25 May 2009; Accepted 25 May 2009





Understanding the response of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to mechanical strain and their consequent gene expression patterns will broaden our knowledge of the mechanobiology of distraction osteogenesis.



In this study, a single period of cyclic mechanical stretch (0.5 Hz, 2,000 με) was performed on rat bone marrow MSCs. Cellular proliferation and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity was examined. The mRNA expression of six bonerelated genes (Ets1, bFGF, IGFII, TGFβ, Cbfa1 and ALP) was detected using realtime quantitative RTPCR.



The results showed that mechanical strain can promote MSCs proliferation, increase ALP activity, and upregulate the expression of these genes. A significant increase in Ets1 expression was detected immediately after mechanical stimulation, but Cbfa1 expression becameelevated later. The temporal expression pattern of ALP coincided perfectly with Cbfa1.



The results of this study suggest that mechanical strain may act as a stimulator to induce differentiation of MSCs into osteoblasts, and that these bonerelated genes may play different roles in the response of MSCs to mechanical stimulation.


distraction osteogenesis; mechanical strain; mesenchymal stem cell (MSC); osteogenic factor; gene expression