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Stem Cells International
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 7241829, 11 pages
Research Article

Periostin: A Downstream Mediator of EphB4-Induced Osteogenic Differentiation of Human Bone Marrow-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells

1National & Regional United Engineering Laboratory of Tissue Engineering, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing 400038, China
2Department of Orthopaedics, Southwest Hospital, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing 400038, China
3Department of Biomedical Materials Science, School of Biomedical Engineering, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing 400038, China

Received 17 June 2015; Revised 5 August 2015; Accepted 24 August 2015

Academic Editor: Susan Liao

Copyright © 2016 Fei Zhang 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.


Erythropoietin-producing hepatocyte B4 (EphB4) has been reported to be a key molecular switch in the regulation of bone homeostasis, but the underlying mechanism remains poorly understood. In this study, we investigated the role of EphB4 in regulating the expression of periostin (POSTN) within bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and assessed its effect and molecular mechanism of osteogenic induction in vitro. Treatment with ephrinB2-FC significantly increased the expression of POSTN in MSCs, and the inhibition of EphB4 could abrogate this effect. In addition, osteogenic markers were upregulated especially in MSCs overexpressing EphB4. To elucidate the underlying mechanism of cross talk between EphB4 and the Wnt pathway, we detected the change in protein expression of phosphorylated-glycogen synthase kinase 3β-serine 9 (p-GSK-3β-Ser9) and β-catenin, as well as the osteogenic markers Runx2 and COL1. The results showed that GSK-3β activation and osteogenic marker expression levels were downregulated by ephrinB2-FC treatment, but these effects were inhibited by blocking integrin αvβ3 in MSCs. Our findings demonstrate that EphB4 can promote osteogenic differentiation of MSCs via upregulation of POSTN expression. It not only helps to reveal the interaction mechanism between EphB4 and Wnt pathway but also brings a better understanding of EphB4/ephrinB2 signaling in bone homeostasis.