We have investigated the in vitro effects and regulatory mechanism of CGRP (calcitonin gene-related peptide) on the differentiation of OB (osteoblasts) in co-culture with HUVEC (human umbilical vein endothelial cells). Primary human MOB (mandibular OB) and OB-like cells (MG-63) were either cultured directly or indirectly co-cultured with HUVEC at a 1:1 ratio. Expression of OC (osteocalcin) was measured by ELISA, and expression of ALP (alkaline phosphatase) and collagen mRNA was measured by quantitative fluorescent PCR. For mineralization nodus, OB were stained with Alizarin Red-S. When co-cultured with HUVEC, expression of OC and ALP mRNA were increased in MG-63 (P<0.01), and the expression of OC, ALP and collagen mRNA were increased in MOB (P<0.01 or 0.05). When treated with CGRP, OC and ALP mRNA and mineralization nodus numbers were increased in the MG-63 co-culture system (P<0.01 or 0.05); OC, ALP and collagen mRNA, and mineralization nodus numbers were increased in the MOB co-culture system (P<0.01 or 0.05). The effect of CGRP regulation on the differentiation of OB is not only direct but also indirect, via its effect on HUVEC and stimulation of OB.