Dimethyl sulfoxide as an inducer of differentiation in preosteoblast MC3T3-E1 cells

FEBS Lett. 2006 Jan 9;580(1):121-6. doi: 10.1016/j.febslet.2005.11.062. Epub 2005 Dec 6.


Osteoblastic differentiation is an essential part of bone formation. Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) is a water miscible solvent that is used extensively for receptor ligands in osteoblast studies. However, little is known about its effects on osteoblastogenic precursor cells. In this study, we have used a murine preosteoblast cell line MC3T3-E1 cells to demonstrate that DMSO effectively induces osteoblastic differentiation of MC3T3-E1 cells via the activation of Runx2 and osterix and is dependent upon the protein kinase C (PKC) pathways. We further demonstrated that prolonged activation of PKC pathways is sufficient to induce osteoblastic differentiation, possibly via the activation of PKD/PKCmu.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation / drug effects*
  • Cell Line
  • Core Binding Factor Alpha 1 Subunit / metabolism*
  • Dimethyl Sulfoxide / pharmacology*
  • Enzyme Activation / drug effects
  • Mice
  • Osteoblasts / enzymology*
  • Protein Kinase C / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects*
  • Solvents / pharmacology*


  • Core Binding Factor Alpha 1 Subunit
  • Runx2 protein, mouse
  • Solvents
  • protein kinase D
  • Protein Kinase C
  • Dimethyl Sulfoxide