• Ascorbic acid 2-phosphate;
  • Ascorbic acid;
  • Long-acting vitamin C;
  • Human osteoblasts;
  • Osteoblast differentiation


In order to investigate the effect of ascorbic acid (AsA) and ascorbic acid 2-phosphate (Asc 2-P), a long-acting vitamin C derivative, on the growth and differentiation of human osteoblast-like cells, we supplemented the culture medium of MG-63 cells with various concentrations (0.25 to 1 mM) of these factors. Asc 2-P significantly stimulated nascent cell growth at all concentrations in the presence of fetal bovine serum (FBS). On the other hand, AsA showed a growth repressive effect depending on its concentration, and that of FBS. Asc 2-P also increased expression of osteoblast differentiation markers, such as collagen synthesis and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity. These stimulative activities of Asc 2-P were attenuated by inhibitors of collagen synthesis, indicating that these effects were dependent on collagen synthesis. Electron micrographs of the cells showed the formation of a three-dimensional tissue-like structure endowed with a mature extracellular matrix in the presence of Asc 2-P.