Establishment of bone morphogenetic protein 2 responsive chondrogenic cell line

Tomonao Aikawa, Kanemitsu Shirasuna, Masahiro Iwamoto, Kazuya Watatani, Takashi Nakamura, Masaya Okura, Hideo Yoshioka, Tokuzo Matsuya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


A clonal cell line named RMD-1 was established from the skeletal muscle of a 20-day fetal rat. RMD-1 represents a morphologically homogeneous population of undifferentiated mesenchymal cells, expressing α-smooth muscle actin and type I collagen, but no cartilage-associated genes. When cultured in agarose gel containing 100 ng/ml of recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein 2 (rhBMP-2; BMP-2), RMD-1 cells formed colonies and showed chondrocyte-like features as assessed by their ultrastructure, metachromatic staining with toluidine blue, and the production of large hydrodynamic-size proteoglycans. RMD-1 cells also differentiated into chondrocytes when the cells were plated at high density (over 2.5 x 105 cells/cm2) on type I collagen and incubated in medium containing 0.5% fetal bovine serum and 100 ng/ml of BMP-2. This chondrogenic differentiation was evidenced by a distinct morphological change into spherical cells, an increase in the levels of sulfated glycosaminoglycans, a decrease in type I collagen mRNA and the expression of cartilage-associated genes, including type II collagen, type IX collagen, aggrecan and alkaline phosphatase. In the presence of ascorbic acid and 10% serum, RMD-1 cells increased in size and expressed type X collagen as well as high alkaline phosphatase activity, then induced matrix mineralization. Thus, RMD-1 is a unique cell line that can differentiate from undifferentiated mesenchymal cells into hypertrophic chondrocytes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)544-553
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Bone and Mineral Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1996 Apr


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