Carbon nanohorns allow acceleration of osteoblast differentiation via macrophage activation
Carbon nanohorns (CNHs), formed by a rolled graphene structure and terminating in a cone, are promising nanomaterials for the development of a variety of biological applications. Here we demonstrate that alkaline phosphatase activity is dramatically increased by coculture of human monocyte derived macrophages (hMDMs) and human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) in the presence of CNHs. CNHs were mainly localized in the lysosome of macrophages more than in hMSCs during coculturing. At the same time, the amount of Oncostatin M (OSM) in the supernatant was also increased during incubation with CNHs. Oncostatin M (OSM) from activated macrophage has been reported to induce osteoblast differentiation and matrix mineralization through STAT3. These results suggest that the macrophages engulfed CNHs and accelerated the differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells into the osteoblast via OSM release. We expect that the proof-of-concept on the osteoblast differentiation capacity by CNHs will allow future studies focused on CNHs as ideal therapeutic materials for bone regeneration.