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The Effect of Simulated Microgravity by Three-Dimensional Clinostat on Bone Tissue Engineering

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Evidence suggests that mechanical stress, including gravity, is associated with osteoblast differentiation and function. To examine effects of microgravity on bone tissue engineering, we used a three-dimensional (3D) clinostat manufactured by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (Kobe, Japan). A 3D clinostat is a device that generates multidirectional G force. By controlled rotation on two axes, it cancels the cumulative gravity vector at the center of the device. We cultured rat marrow mesenchymal cells (MMCs) in the pores of interconnected porous calcium hydroxyapatite (IP-CHA) for 2 weeks in the presence of dexamethasone using the 3D clinostat (clinostat group). MMCs cultured using the 3D clinostat exhibited a 40% decrease in alkaline phosphatase activity (a marker of osteoblastic differentiation), compared with control static cultures (control group). SEM analysis revealed that although there was no difference between the two groups in number or distribution of cells in the pores, the clinostat group exhibited less extensive extracellular matrix formation than the control group. Cultured IP-CHA/MMC composites were then implanted into subcutaneous sites of syngeneic rats and harvested 8 weeks after implantation. All implants showed bone formation inside the pores, as indicated by decalcified histological sections and microfocus computed tomography. However, the volume of newly formed bone was significantly lower for the clinostat group than for the control group, especially in the superficial pores close to the implant surface. These results indicate that new bone formation in culture was inhibited by use of the 3D clinostat, and that this inhibition was mainly due to suppression of osteoblastic differentiation of MMCs.

Keywords: 3D clinostat; Bone tissue engineering; Marrow mesenchymal cell; Microfocus CT; Osteoblast differentiation; Simulated microgravity

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Orthopaedics, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, 2-2 Yamadaoka, Suita City, Osaka 565-0871, Japan 2: Tissue Engineering Research Group, Research Institute for Cell Engineering, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, 3-11-46 Nakouji, Amagasaki City, Hyogo 661-0974, Japan 3: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd, Japan, 1-1-1 Wadasaki-cho, Hyogo-ku, Kobe City, Hyogo 652-8585, Japan

Publication date: October 1, 2005

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  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.

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