Capacity of octacalcium phosphate to promote osteoblastic differentiation toward osteocytes in vitro

Yuko Sai, Yukari Shiwaku, Takahisa Anada, Kaori Tsuchiya, Tetsu Takahashi, Osamu Suzuki

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65 Citations (Scopus)


Octacalcium phosphate (OCP) has been shown to act as a nucleus for initial bone deposition and enhancing the early stages of osteoblastic differentiation. However, the effect on differentiation at the late stage into osteocytes has not been elucidated. The present study was designed to investigate whether OCP can promote the differentiation lineage from osteoblasts to late osteocytes using a clonal cell line IDG-SW3 compared to commercially available sintered β-tricalcium phosphate (β-TCP) and hydroxyapatite (HA) in a transwell cell culture. Special attention was paid to detect the progress of OCP hydrolysis associated with ionic dissolution products from this material. OCP induced the appearance of an alkaline phosphatase (ALP) peak in the IDG-SW3 cells compared to β-TCP and HA and increased SOST/sclerostin and FGF23 gene expression after 35 days of incubation. Analyses by X-ray diffraction, curve fitting of Fourier transform infrared spectra, and acid phosphate inclusion of the materials showed that OCP tended to hydrolyze to an apatitic structure during the incubation. Since the hydrolysis enhanced inorganic phosphate ion (Pi) release from OCP in the media, IDG-SW3 cells were further incubated in the conditioned media with an increased concentration of Pi in the presence or absence of phosphonoformic acid (PFA), which is an inhibitor of Pi transport within the cells. An increase in Pi concentration up to 1.5 mM raised ALP activity, while its positive effect was eliminated in the presence of 0.1 to 0.5 mM PFA. Calcium ions did not show such an effect. These results indicate the stimulatory capacity of OCP on osteoblastic differentiation toward osteocytes. Statement of Significance: Octacalcium phosphate (OCP) has been shown to have a superior osteoconductivity due to its capacity to enhance initial stage of osteoblast differentiation. However, the effect of OCP on the late osteoblastic differentiation into osteocyte is unknown. This study showed the capacity associated with the structural change of OCP. The data show that OCP released inorganic phosphate (Pi) ions while the hydrolysis advanced if soaked in the media, determined by chemical and physical analyses, and enhanced osteocytes differentiation of IDG-SW3 cells more than hydroxyapatite (HA) and β-tricalcium phosphate (β-TCP). Conditioned elevated Pi-containing media in the absence of OCP enhanced the osteocyte differentiation in the range of the concentration induced by OCP, the effect of which was cancelled by the inhibitor of Pi-transporters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)362-371
Number of pages10
JournalActa Biomaterialia
Publication statusPublished - Mar 15 2018
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Biomaterials
  • Biochemistry
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Molecular Biology


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