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Open Access Research

An in vitro study of osteoblast vitality influenced by the vitamins C and E

Kent Urban1, Hans J Höhling2, Beate Lüttenberg1, Thomas Szuwart1, Ulrich Plate1* and Biomineralisation Research Unit

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Cranio-Maxillofacial Surgery, University of Münster, Münster, Germany

2 Institute of Medical Physics and Biophysics, University of Münster, Münster, Germany

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Head & Face Medicine 2012, 8:25  doi:10.1186/1746-160X-8-25

Published: 28 September 2012

Abstract

Vitamin C and vitamin E are known as important cellular antioxidants and are involved in several other non-antioxidant processes. Generally vitamin C and vitamin E are not synthesized by humans and therefore have to be applied by nutrition. The absence or deficiency of the vitamins can lead to several dysfunctions and even diseases (e.g. scurvy). The main interest in this study is that vitamin C and E are known to influence bone formation, e.g. vitamin C plays the key role in the synthesis of collagen, the major component of the extracellular bone matrix.

In the present study we evaluate the effect of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and α-tocopherol (vitamin E) on the proliferation and differentiation of primary bovine osteoblasts in vitro. Starting from standard growth medium we minimized the foetal calf serum to reduce their stimulatory effect on proliferation.

An improved growth and an increased synthesis of the extracellular matrix proteins collagen type I, osteonectin and osteocalcin was observed while increasing the ascorbic acid concentration up to 200 μg/ml. Furthermore the effects of α-tocopherol on cell growth and cell differentiation were examined, whereby neither improved growth nor increased synthesis of the extracellular matrix proteins collagen type I, osteonectin and osteocalcin were detected.

Further investigations are necessary to target at better supportive effect of vitamins on bone regeneration, and healing.

Keywords:
Bone cells; Osteoblast; Ascorbic acid; Tocopherol; Bone regeneration