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Keywords:

  • MUSCLE RESIDENT STROMAL CELLS;
  • SCA1;
  • MUSCLE DAMAGE;
  • µCT SCAN;
  • ALK1

Abstract

Heterotopic ossification (HO) is defined as the formation of bone inside soft tissue. Symptoms include joint stiffness, swelling, and pain. Apart from the inherited form, the common traumatic form generally occurs at sites of injury in damaged muscles and is often associated with brain injury. We investigated bone morphogenetic protein 9 (BMP-9), which possesses a strong osteoinductive capacity, for its involvement in muscle HO physiopathology. We found that BMP-9 had an osteoinductive influence on mouse muscle resident stromal cells by increasing their alkaline phosphatase activity and bone-specific marker expression. Interestingly, BMP-9 induced HO only in damaged muscle, whereas BMP-2 promoted HO in skeletal muscle regardless of its state. The addition of the soluble form of the ALK1 protein (the BMP-9 receptor) significantly inhibited the osteoinductive potential of BMP-9 in cells and HO in damaged muscles. BMP-9 thus should be considered a candidate for involvement in HO physiopathology, with its activity depending on the skeletal muscle microenvironment. © 2011 American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.