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Simvastatin enhances Rho/actin/cell rigidity pathway contributing to mesenchymal stem cells’ osteogenic differentiation

Authors Tai I, Wang Y, Chen C, Chuang S, Chang J, Ho M

Received 9 March 2015

Accepted for publication 28 April 2015

Published 21 September 2015 Volume 2015:10(1) Pages 5881—5894


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Thomas J. Webster

I-Chun Tai,1–3 Yao-Hsien Wang,3 Chung-Hwan Chen,3,4 Shu-Chun Chuang,3 Je-Ken Chang,3–5 Mei-Ling Ho1–3,6

1Graduate Institute of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan; 2Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan; 3Orthopaedic Research Center, College of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan; 4Department of Orthopedics, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Kaohsiung, Taiwan; 5Department of Orthopedics, Kaohsiung Municipal Ta-Tung Hospital, Kaohsiung, Taiwan; 6Department of Marine Biotechnology and Resources, National Sun Yat-sen UniVersity, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Abstract: Recent studies have indicated that statins induce osteogenic differentiation both in vitro and in vivo. The molecular mechanism of statin-stimulated osteogenesis is unknown. Activation of RhoA signaling increases cytoskeletal tension, which plays a crucial role in the osteogenic differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells. We thus hypothesized that RhoA signaling is involved in simvastatin-induced osteogenesis in bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells. We found that although treatment with simvastatin shifts localization of RhoA protein from the membrane to the cytosol, the treatment still activates RhoA dose-dependently because it reduces the association with RhoGDIα. Simvastatin also increased the expression of osteogenic proteins, density of actin filament, the number of focal adhesions, and cellular tension. Furthermore, disrupting actin cytoskeleton or decreasing cell rigidity by using chemical agents reduced simvastatin-induced osteogenic differentiation. In vivo study also confirms that density of actin filament is increased in simvastatin-induced ectopic bone formation. Our study is the first to demonstrate that maintaining intact actin cytoskeletons and enhancing cell rigidity are crucial in simvastatin-induced osteogenesis. The results suggested that simvastatin, which is an osteoinductive factor and acts by increasing actin filament organization and cell rigidity combined with osteoconductive biomaterials, may benefit stem-cell-based bone regeneration.

Keywords: statins, RhoA, cytoskeleton, osteogenic differentiation, BMSCs

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