When demineralized bone matrix powder is implanted subcutaneously in the rat, the early responses involve the appearance and proliferation of mesenchymal cells at the site of implantation, followed by cartilage and bone formation. The ability of cells to migrate to the implant suggests that chemotaxis may be a critical event in this process. Therefore, using the modified Boyden chamber assay, we tested extracts of demineralized bone matrix for chemotactic activity. We have identified and partially purified, on molecular sieve chromatography, a heat labile and trypsin-sensitive protein (Mr=60,000-70,000) that is a potent chemoattractant for mouse calvaria, osteoblast-like cells (MMB-1), but not for monocytes (putative osteoclast precursors). These findings suggest that chemotactic protein(s) have a significant role in the recruitment of osteoprogenitor cells to a site of bone repair.
- Bone proteins
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