The aim of the present study was to test the hypothesis that the proliferation of a human osteoblast cell line (HOS cells) stimulated with hydroxyapatite (HA) may be regulated by nitric oxide (NO). The cells were cultured on the surface of HA. Medium or cells alone were used as controls. L-arginine, D-arginine, 7-NI (an nNOS inhibitor), L-NIL (an iNOS inhibitor), L-NIO (an eNOS inhibitor) or carboxy PTIO, a NO scavenger, was added in the HA-exposed cell cultures. The cells were also precoated with anti-human integrin alphaV antibody. The levels of nitrite were determined spectrophotometrically. Cell proliferation was assessed by colorimetric assay. The results showed increased nitrite production and cell proliferation by HA-stimulated HOS cells up to day 3 of cultures. Anti-integrin alphaV antibody, L-NIO, or carboxy PTIO suppressed, but L-arginine enhanced, nitrite production and cell proliferation of HA-stimulated HOS cells. The results of the present study suggest, therefore, that interaction between HA and HOS cell surface integrin alphaV molecule may activate eNOS to catalyze NO production which, in turn, may regulate the cell proliferation in an autocrine fashion.
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