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Bone morphogenetic protein-2 induces donor-dependent osteogenic and adipogenic differentiation in human adipose stem cells

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1391-1402
Number of pages12
JournalStem Cells Translational Medicine
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


Bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP-2) is a growth factor used to stimulate bone regeneration in clinical applications. However, there are contradicting reports on the functionality of BMP-2 in human adipose stem cells (hASCs), which are frequently used in tissue engineering. In this study, we analyzed the effects of BMP-2 on SMAD1/5 signaling, proliferation, and differentiation in hASCs. Our results indicated that BMP-2 induced dose-dependent (25–100 ng/ml) activation of SMADsignaling. Furthermore, the cell proliferation analysis revealed that BMP-2 (100 ng/ml) consistently decreased the proliferation in all the cell lines studied. However, the analysis of the differentiation potential revealed that BMP-2 (100 ng/ml) exhibited a donor-dependent dual role, inducing both osteogenic and adipogenic differentiation in hASCs. The quantitative alkaline phosphatase (qALP) activity and mineralization levels were clearly enhanced in particular donor cell lines by BMP-2 stimulus. On the contrary, in other cell lines, qALP and mineralization levels were diminished and the lipid formation was enhanced. The current study also suggests that hASCs have accelerated biochemical responsiveness to BMP-2 stimulus in human serum-supplemented culture medium compared with fetal bovine serum. The production origin of the BMP-2 growth factor is also important for its response: BMP-2 produced in mammalian cells enhanced signaling and differentiation responses compared with BMP-2 produced in Escherichia coli. These results explain the existing contradiction in the reported BMP-2 studies and indicate the variability in the functional end mechanism of BMP-2-stimulated hASCs.

ASJC Scopus subject areas


  • Adipose stem cell, Bone morphogenetic protein 2, Bone tissue engineering, Cell signaling, Differentiation, SMAD-1/5