Bone adaption upon mechanical stimulation is accompanied by changes in gene expression. In this context we investigated the influence of mechanical loading on heparin binding growth associated molecule (HB-GAM) expression, an extracellular matrix molecule which in cell culture has been shown to stimulate the differentiation of osteoblasts. We obtained information on the participating signal transduction pathways using a mitogenic loading regimen. Specific inhibitors of various signal transduction pathways were added to loaded cells and to unloaded controls. By semi-quantitative PCR studies we demonstrated a rapid decrease of HB-GAM expression in primary osteoblasts and SaOs-2 cells by 20-30% upon mechanical loading within 30min. We showed that the RGD-integrin interaction is involved in the regulation of HB-GAM expression. Furthermore, integrity of the cytoskeleton, stretch-activated, and voltage-sensitive Ca2+ channels as well as gap junctional communication are necessary for the downregulation of HB-GAM expression by mechanical loading. (C) 2004 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Gene Expression Regulation*
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