Osteoblast lineage-specific differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells is a well regulated but poorly understood process. Both bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) and Wnt signaling are implicated in regulating osteoblast differentiation and bone formation. Here we analyzed the expression profiles of mesenchymal stem cells stimulated with Wnt3A and osteogenic BMPs, and we identified connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) as a potential target of Wnt and BMP signaling.
Mesenchymal stromal progenitor cells (MSCs) are multipotent progenitors that can be isolated from numerous tissues. MSCs can undergo osteogenic differentiation under proper stimuli. We have recently demonstrated that bone morphogenetic protein 9 (BMP9) is one of the most osteogenic BMPs. As one of the least studied BMPs, BMP9 has been shown to regulate angiogenesis in endothelial cells. However, it is unclear whether BMP9-regulated angiogenic signaling plays any important role in the BMP9-initiated osteogenic pathway in MSCs.