Extracellular calcium promotes bone formation from bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells by amplifying the effects of BMP-2 on SMAD signalling.

Understanding the molecular events that regulate osteoblast differentiation is essential for the development of effective approaches to bone regeneration. In this study, they analysed the osteoinductive properties of extracellular calcium in bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cell (BM-MSC) differentiation. Data suggest that Ca2+ and BMP-2 cooperate and promote an autocrine/paracrine osteogenic feed-forward loop.  On the whole, these results demonstrate the usefulness of calcium-based bone grafts or the addition of exogenous Ca2+ in bone tissue engineering.

PLoS One. 2017 May 25;12(5):e0178158. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0178158. eCollection 2017.

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Aquino-Martínez R, Artigas N, Gámez B, Rosa JL, Ventura F

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