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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 857934, 9 pages
Research Article

Conditioned Media from Microvascular Endothelial Cells Cultured in Simulated Microgravity Inhibit Osteoblast Activity

Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche e Cliniche Luigi Sacco, Università di Milano, Via GB Grassi 74, Milano, Italy

Received 23 April 2014; Revised 9 July 2014; Accepted 9 July 2014; Published 19 August 2014

Academic Editor: Mariano Bizzarri

Copyright © 2014 Alessandra Cazzaniga et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background and Aims. Gravity contributes to the maintenance of bone integrity. Accordingly, weightlessness conditions during space flight accelerate bone loss and experimental models in real and simulated microgravity show decreased osteoblastic and increased osteoclastic activities. It is well known that the endothelium and bone cells cross-talk and this intercellular communication is vital to regulate bone homeostasis. Because microgravity promotes microvascular endothelial dysfunction, we anticipated that the molecular cross-talk between endothelial cells exposed to simulated microgravity and osteoblasts might be altered. Results. We cultured human microvascular endothelial cells in simulated microgravity using the rotating wall vessel device developed by NASA. Endothelial cells in microgravity show growth inhibition and release higher amounts of matrix metalloproteases type 2 and interleukin-6 than controls. Conditioned media collected from microvascular endothelial cells in simulated microgravity were used to culture human osteoblasts and were shown to retard osteoblast proliferation and inhibit their activity. Discussion. Microvascular endothelial cells in microgravity are growth retarded and release high amounts of matrix metalloproteases type 2 and interleukin-6, which might play a role in retarding the growth of osteoblasts and impairing their osteogenic activity. Conclusions. We demonstrate that since simulated microgravity modulates microvascular endothelial cell function, it indirectly impairs osteoblastic function.