Differential display of human marrow stromal cells reveals unique mRNA expression patterns in response to dexamethasone

Suzanne C. Dieudonné, Janet M. Kerr, Tianshun Xu, Beatrice Sommer, Anna R. DeRubeis, Sergei A. Kuznetsov, In-San Kim, Pamela Gehron Robey, Marian F. Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Citations (Scopus)


Human bone marrow stromal cells (hBMSC) are pluripotent cells that have the ability to differentiate into bone, cartilage, hematopoietic-supportive stroma, and adipocytes in a process modulated by dexamethasone (DEX). To characterize changes in hBMSC in response to DEX, we carried out differential display experiments using hBMSC cultured for 1 week in the presence or absence of 10-8 M DEX. When RNA from these cells was used for differential display, numerous cDNA bands were identified that were up-regulated and down-regulated by DEX. The cDNA bands were reamplified by PCR and directly used to screen an hBMSC cDNA library. Seven clones were isolated and characterized by DNA sequencing and found to encode the following genes: transforming growth factor-β-induced gene product (βig-h3), calphobindin II, cytosolic thyroid-binding protein, 22-kDA smooth muscle protein (SM22), and the extracellular matrix proteins osteonectin/SPARC, type III collagen, and fibronectin. To confirm that these genes were regulated by DEX, the cells were treated continuously with this hormone for periods ranging from 2 to 30 days, and steady- state mRNA levels were measured by Northern blot analysis. All genes showed some level of regulation by DEX. The most profound regulation by DEX was observed in the βig-h3 gene, which showed a relative 10-fold decrease in mRNA levels after 6 days of treatment. Interestingly, βig-h3 expression was not altered by DEX in fibroblasts from other human tissues, including thymus stromal fibroblasts, spleen stromal fibroblasts, and foreskin fibroblasts. In summary, differential display of DEX-treated hBMSC revealed unique patterns of gene expression and has provided new information about phenotypic changes that accompany the differentiation of hBMSC toward osteogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-243
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of cellular biochemistry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1999 Dec 1
Externally publishedYes


  • βig-h3
  • Dexamethasone
  • Differential display
  • Human bone marrow stroma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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