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PLoS By Category | Recent PLoS Articles
Rheumatology - Women's Health

Role of Ox-PAPCs in the Differentiation of Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) and Runx2 and PPAR?2 Expression in MSCs-Like of Osteoporotic Patients
Published: Friday, June 03, 2011
Author: Maria Teresa Valenti et al.

by Maria Teresa Valenti, Ulisse Garbin, Andrea Pasini, Mirko Zanatta, Chiara Stranieri, Stefania Manfro, Chiara Zucal, Luca Dalle Carbonare


Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) can differentiate into osteoblasts and adipocytes and conditions causing bone loss may induce a switch from the osteoblast to adipocyte lineage. In addition, the expression of Runx2 and the PPAR?2 transcription factor genes is essential for cellular commitment to an osteogenic and adipogenic differentiation, respectively.Modified lipoproteins derived from the oxidation of arachidonate-containing phospholipids (ox-PAPCs: POVPC, PGPC and PEIPC) are considered important factors in atherogenesis.


We investigated the effect of ox-PAPCs on osteogenesis and adipogenesis in human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs). In particular, we analyzed the transcription factor Runx2 and the PPAR?2 gene expression during osteogenic and adipogenic differentiation in absence and in presence of ox-PAPCs. We also analyzed gene expression level in a panel of osteoblastic and adipogenic differentiation markers.In addition, as circulating blood cells can be used as a “sentinel” that responds to changes in the macro- or micro-environment, we analyzed the Runx2 and the PPAR?2 gene expression in MSCs-like and ox-PAPC levels in serum of osteoporotic patients (OPs). Finally, we examined the effects of sera obtained from OPs in hMSCs comparing the results with age-matched normal donors (NDs).

Principal findings

Quantitative RT-PCR demonstrated that ox-PAPCs enhanced PPAR?2 and adipogenic gene expression and reduced Runx2 and osteoblast differentiation marker gene expression in differentiating hMSCs. In OPs, ox-PAPC levels and PPAR?2 expression were higher than in NDs, whereas Runx2 was lower than in ND circulant MSCs-like.


Ox-PAPCs affect the osteogenic differentiation by promoting adipogenic differentiation and this effect may appear involved in bone loss in OPs.