Effects of Hydrocortisone, Glycerophosphate and Retinol on the Differentiation of Mesenchymal Stem Cells and Vascular Endothelial Cells to Osteoblasts


Vascular calcification, which causes occlusion and rupture of the vascular, is often observed in patients in the advanced stages of arteriosclerosis. One of the best procedures for inhibiting the accumulation of vascular calcification is to obstruct the differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and/or vascular endothelial cells (VECs) in the vascular to osteoblasts. In this study, we evaluated the biochemical and genetic characteristics of the process of differentiation of MSCs and VECs to osteoblasts. C3H10T1/2 MSCs, TKD2 VECs and MC3T3-E1 preosteoblasts (POBs) were cultured in medium containing both hydrocortisone and glycerophosphate. These compounds showed strong effects promoting the differentiation of VECs as well as POBs, although the effect was weak in the MSCs. Moreover, C3H10T1/2 MSCs and TKD2 VECs were cultured in medium containing 10 mM retinol, after which the alkali phosphatase (ALP) activity of the MSCs and production of calcified nodules of TKD2 were significantly increased, whereas the marker genes for the osteoblasts were not. These results suggest that retinol does not have an effect in inducing the differentiation of VECs to osteoblasts, but rather exhibits a strong promoting effect on differentiation.

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Shiomi, N. and Watanabe, K. (2014) Effects of Hydrocortisone, Glycerophosphate and Retinol on the Differentiation of Mesenchymal Stem Cells and Vascular Endothelial Cells to Osteoblasts. Journal of Biomedical Science and Engineering, 7, 1056-1066. doi: 10.4236/jbise.2014.713103.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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