Cellular activities responding to growth factors are important in ligament healing. The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) has poor healing potential compared to the medial collateral ligament (MCL). To assess the differences, we investigated the proliferation, migration, adhesion, and matrix synthesis responding to growth factors in rabbit ACL and MCL fibroblasts. ACL cell proliferation to basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), bone morphogenetic protein-2, growth and differentiation factor (GDF)-5, and GDF-7 treatment was similar to that of MCL cells. GDF-5 enhanced Col1a1 expression in ACL and MCL fibroblasts up to 4.7- and 17-fold levels of control, respectively. MCL fibroblasts showed stronger migration activities in response to bFGF and GDF-5 than ACL cells. GDF-5/7 and bFGF also changed the stress fiber formation and cellular adhesion by modulating the distribution of integrin α2. Functional blocking analyses using anti-integrin α2 antibodies revealed that cellular migration responding to growth factors depended on the integrin α2-mediated adhesion on type I collagen. The expression of integrin α2 was also increased by growth factors in both cells. Our results demonstrate that GDF-5/7 and bFGF stimulate cellular migration by modulating integrin α2 expression and integrin α2-dependent adhesion, especially in MCL fibroblasts. These findings suggest that the different healing potential between ACL and MCL may be caused by different cellular behavior in the integrin α2-mediated cellular migration in response to growth factors.
- Integrin α2
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine