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    Matrix production by nucleus pulposus (NP) cells, the cells residing in the center of the intervertebral disc, can be stimulated by growth factors. Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) hold great promise. Although BMP2 and BMP7 have been used most frequently, other BMPs have also shown potential for NP regeneration. Heterodimers may be more potent than single homodimers, but it is not known whether combinations of homodimers would perform equally well. In this study, we compared BMP2, BMP4, BMP6, and BMP7, their combinations and heterodimers, for regeneration by human NP cells. The BMPs investigated induced variable matrix deposition by NP cells. BMP4 was the most potent, both in the final neotissue glysosaminoglycan content and incorporation efficiency. Heterodimers BMP2/6H and BMP2/7H were more potent than their respective homodimer combinations, but not the BMP4/7H heterodimer. The current results indicate that BMP4 might have a high potential for regeneration of the intervertebral disc. Moreover, the added value of BMP heterodimers over their respective homodimer BMP combinations depends on the BMP combination applied.


    Anita Krouwels, Juvita D Iljas, Angela H M Kragten, Wouter J A Dhert, F Cumhur ├ľner, Marianna A Tryfonidou, Laura B Creemers. Bone Morphogenetic Proteins for Nucleus Pulposus Regeneration. International journal of molecular sciences. 2020 Apr 14;21(8)

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    PMID: 32295299

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