Recombinant human BMP-2 accelerates the migration of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells via the CDC42/PAK1/LIMK1 pathway in vitro and in vivo
Biomaterials are widely used for bone regeneration and fracture repair. The migration of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) into bone defect sites or material implantation sites, and their differentiation into osteoblasts, is central to the fracture healing process, and the directional migration of BMSCs depends on cytokines or chemokines at the defect site. BMP-2 can stimulate the migration of a variety of cells, but it remains unclear whether BMSC migration can be induced. To provide evidence for BMP-2-induced BMSC migration, we tested the cytoskeletal changes and migration ability of BMSCs after treatment with recombinant human BMP-2 (rhBMP-2). We also explored the recruitment of BMSCs from the circulatory system using a collagen sponge incorporating rhBMP-2 that was implanted in vivo. Furthermore, to understand the mechanism underlying this migration, we investigated the effect of rhBMP-2 on migration-related signal pathways. Here, we found that, rhBMP-2 treatment significantly increased the migration of BMSCs in vitro via activation of the CDC42/PAK1/LIMK1 pathway, and that this migration could be blocked by silencing CDC42. In vivo, collagen sponge material loaded with rhBMP-2 could recruit BMSCs injected into the circulatory system. Moreover, inhibition using the small interfering RNA for CDC42 led to a significant decrease in the number of BMSCs within the material. In conclusion, our data prove that rhBMP-2 can accelerate BMSC migration via the CDC42/PAK1/LIMK1 pathway both in vivo and in vitro, and therefore provides a foundation for further understanding and application of rhBMP-2-incorporated materials by enhancing BMSC recruitment.