Summer 2010: Fibroblast Growth Factor 2 Regulations of Microvascular Pericytes Differentiation into Osteoblast and Adipocyte
By John Zyzo and Ruth Washington, Ph.D., in collaboration with Marja Hurley, M.D.
Fibroblast Growth Factor 2 has been known to play a role in osteogenesis and adipogenesis of pericyte cells. Although vascular pericytes
can differentiate into osteoblast and adipocyte, the involvement of signaling pathways and molecular mechanisms were the main focus of our experiments.
Pericytes are of particular interest because they are located on the abluminal side of endothelial cells near endothelial junctions along capillaries, which allows them to be involved in many pathophysiological events. The recent development of techniques for isolating and characterizing pericytes have given us the opportunity to further understand the proliferation potential of these very intricate cells.
Furthermore, the production of FgF2 by pericytes provided us with the specific area we needed to focus our studies in order to expand our knowledge of the osteogenic and adipogenic properties of pericytes. The targeted promotion of FgF2 as a major factor in osteogenesis and adipogenesis can lead to improved therapeutics for treatment of disorders associated with low bone mass. Not to mention increasing our basic knowledge of vascular formation and bone formation while also exploring pericytes as a promising source of stem cells.