Biomechanics from Wolff´s Law to Molecular Biology
in Cooperation with the *Department for Traumatological Research and Biomechanics, University of Ulm
Mechanical strain affects bone mass and bone architecture. In-vivo, mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) constitute the cellular source for regeneration and healing of bone tissue. While mechanical strain currently is known to stimulate proliferation and matrix synthesis in osteoblastic cells, it is largely unknown, to what extend mechanical forces can influence proliferation and the activation of osteogenic factors in MSC. Concerning this matter, telomerase-immortalized human MSC and respective clones with overexpression and knockdown of cbfa-1, an indispensable transcription factor for osteogenic differentiation, will be submitted to mechanical stretching. The resulting effects will be analyzed comprehensively in terms of proliferation and differentiation. Whole Genome Arrays analyzed be means of bioinformatics will be the starting point for further characterization of selected genes that may have fundamental, tissue-specific impact on mechanotransduction in bone. Identification of such genes in MSC and osteoblast-precursors will provide putative therapeutic target-molecules that might help to recover mechanosensitivity in osteoporotic bone and to maintain bone mass in case of immobilisation and loss of gonadal steroid hormones.
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