Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science




Dr. Kaiping Yang


This study was designed to test the hypothesis that bone morphogenetic protein-3 (BMP-3) promotes adipogenesis using C3H10T1/2 mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and 3T3-L1 preadipocytes as in vitro model systems. Although having no effects on the commitment of C3H10T1/2 cells to the adipocyte lineage or the differentiation of 3T3-L1 preadipocytes to adipocytes, BMP-3 stimulated DNA synthesis (as determined by [3H]- thymidine incorporation) in both cell types. Furthermore, the mitogenic effects of BMP-3 were mediated by the TGF-p/activin signalling pathway, because BMP-3 activated the TGF-p/activin pathway in C3H10T1/2 cells, and the TGF-p/activin pathway inhibitor SB- 431542 blocked BMP-3-stimulated proliferation. Additionally, inhibitors of ERK1/2 and p38 MAPK pathways reduced proliferation under basal conditions. In conclusion, the present study demonstrates that BMP-3 stimulates proliferation of MSCs and preadipocytes in vitro, which provides a source for adipogenesis. Consequently, aberrant BMP-3 expression may have consequences not only for normal adipose tissue growth but also for the pathogenesis of obesity.



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