Fibroblast growth factor-4 maintains cellular viability while enhancing osteogenic differentiation of stem cell spheroids in part by regulating RUNX2 and BGLAP expression
- Juwan Son
- Jae-Yong Tae
- Sae Kyung Min
- Youngkyung Ko
- Jun-Beom Park
Affiliations: Department of Periodontics, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul 06591, Republic of Korea
- Published online on: June 26, 2020 https://doi.org/10.3892/etm.2020.8951
Copyright: © Son
et al. This is an open access article distributed under the
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Fibroblast growth factors (FGFs) are growth factors that were initially identified as proteins that stimulate fibroblast proliferation. The aim of the present study was to examine the effects of FGF‑4 on the morphology, cellular viability and osteogenic differentiation of stem cell spheroids. Stem cell spheroids were generated using concave microwells in the presence of FGF‑4 at concentrations of 0, 50, 100 and 200 ng/ml. Cellular viability was qualitatively assessed by a fluorometric live/dead assay using a microscope and quantitatively determined by using Cell Counting Kit‑8. Furthermore, alkaline phosphatase activity and calcium deposition were determined to assess osteogenic differentiation. Reverse transcription‑quantitative PCR (RT‑qPCR) was performed to evaluate the mRNA expression levels of Runt‑related transcription factor 2 (RUNX2) and bone γ‑carboxyglutamate protein (BGLAP). Spheroidal shapes were achieved in the microwells on day 1 and a significant increase in the spheroid diameter was observed in the 200 ng/ml FGF‑4 group compared with the control group on day 1 (P<0.05). The results regarding viability using Cell Counting Kit‑8 in the presence of FGF‑4 at 50, 100 and 200 ng/ml at day 1 were 98.0±2.5, 106.2±17.6 and 99.5±6.0%, respectively, when normalized to the control group (P>0.05). Furthermore, the alkaline phosphatase activity was significantly elevated in the 200 ng/ml group, when compared with the control group. The RT‑qPCR results demonstrated that the mRNA expression levels of RUNX2 and BGLAP were significantly increased at 200 ng/ml. Therefore, the present results suggested that the application of FGF‑4 maintained cellular viability while enhancing the osteogenic differentiation of stem cell spheroids, at least partially by regulating RUNX2 and BGLAP expression levels.