We tested whether FS secretion might modulate BMP-2 actions by measuring FS levels and counting bone numbers of rat mandibular cells. In the presence of Dex, BMP-2 stimulated FS secretion at the early phase and augmented bone nodule by neutralizing with FS antibody. We concluded that BMP-2 facilitates FS secretion, and the FS restricts BMP-2 action on osteoblastogenesis.
Introduction: Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) promote the differentiation of osteoprogenitor cells into osteoblasts. Activin A is involved in the regulation of bone formation. Follistatin (FS) antagonizes the bioactivities of BMP and activin A extracellularly.
Materials and methods: In this study, we tested whether the induction of FS secretion might modulate the effects of BMP-2 on osteoblast development, using the bone nodule-forming cultures of fetal rat mandibular cells.
Results and conclusions: In the presence of dexamethasone (Dex), BMP-2 stimulated the secretion of FS at the early phase (days 3-9) of the culture. Dex alone had no effect, and BMP-2 alone was less effective than the combination of the two. BMP-4 and -6 had little effect on FS secretion. Activin A inhibited the early upregulation of FS secretion when added with BMP-2 and Dex. In the presence of Dex, BMP-2 increased bone nodule numbers when added to early cultures. The addition of anti-FS antibody to cultures with BMP-2 and Dex augmented bone nodule formation. These results show that BMP-2 facilitates the secretion of FS in the presence of Dex, and the increased FS secretion restricts the action of BMP-2 on osteoblast differentiation.