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osteogenic chemicals - (Jan/12/2011 )

I am trying to differentiate mesenchymal stem cells into osteoblast. I am using cocktail of dexamethasone, ascorbic acid and beta glycerophosphate. I would like to know the functions of these three chemicals during osteogenesis. Can the msc be differentiated using only ascorbic acid and beta glycerophosphate?


As far as I know, ascorbic acid is required as a co-factor for collagen synthesis while beta-GP acts as a source of inorganic phosphate (alkaline phosphatase cleaves the beta-GP to release inorganic phosphate which along with calcium is laid down as mineral). I'm not sure what the function of dex is. I've seen protocols that use them or don't. I've been able to differentiate/mineralize MC3T3 pre-osteoblasts with 10mM beta-GP and 50ug/ml ascorbic acid (no dex added). Hope this helps!