Table of Contents
ISRN Biomedical Engineering
Volume 2013, Article ID 956362, 11 pages
Research Article

Extrahepatic 25-Hydroxylation of Vitamin D3 in an Engineered Osteoblast Precursor Cell Line Exploring the Influence on Cellular Proliferation and Matrix Maturation during Bone Development

1Department of Biology, Portland State University, P.O. Box 751, Portland, OR 97207-0751, USA
2Department of Molecular and Medical Genetics, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR 97239, USA

Received 31 March 2013; Accepted 4 May 2013

Academic Editors: D. K. Han and A. D. Lucas

Copyright © 2013 Shelley S. Mason 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.


Osteoblastic precursors experience distinct stages during differentiation and bone development, which include proliferation, extracellular matrix (ECM) maturation, and ECM mineralization. It is well known that vitamin D plays a large role in the regulation of bone mineralization and homeostasis via the endocrine system. The activation of vitamin D requires two sequential hydroxylation steps, first in the kidney and then in the liver, in order to carry out its role in calcium homeostasis. Recent research has demonstrated that human-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and osteoblasts can metabolize the immediate vitamin D precursor 25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (25OHD3) to the active steroid 1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25OH2D3) and elicit an osteogenic response. However, reports of extrahepatic metabolism of vitamin D3, the parental vitamin D precursor, have been limited. In this study, we investigated whether osteoblast precursors have the capacity to convert vitamin D3 to 1,25OH2D3 and examined the potential of vitamin D3 to induce 1,25OH2D3 associated biological activities in osteoblast precursors. It was demonstrated that the engineered osteoblast precursor derived from human marrow (OPC1) is capable of metabolizing vitamin D3 to 1,25OH2D3 in a dose-dependent manner. It was also demonstrated that administration of vitamin D3 leads to the increase in alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity associated with osteoblast ECM maturation and calcium deposits and a decrease in cellular proliferation in both osteoblast precursor cell lines OPC1 and MC3T3-E1. These findings provide a two-dimensional culture foundation for future three-dimensional engineered tissue studies using the OPC1 cell line.