Fibroblast growth factor18 (FGF18) belongs to the FGF family and is a pleiotropic protein that stimulates proliferation in several tissues. Bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) participate in the normal replacement of damaged cells and in disease healing processes within bone and the haematopoietic system. In this study, we constructed FGF18 and investigated its effects on rat BMSCs (rBMSCs). The proliferative effects of FGF18 on rBMSCs were examined using an MTS assay. To validate the osteogenic differentiation effects of FGF18, ALP and mineralization activity were examined as well as osteogenic differentiation-related gene levels. FGF18 significantly enhanced rBMSCs proliferation (plt;0.001) and induced the osteogenic differentiation by elevating ALP and mineralization activity of rBMSCs (p<0.001). Furthermore, these osteogenic differentiation effects of FGF18 were confirmed via increasing the mRNA levels of collagen type I (Col I), bone morphogenetic protein 4 (BMP4), and Runt-related transcription factor 2 (Runx2) at 3 and 7 days. These results suggest that FGF18 could be used to improve bone repair and regeneration.
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