Abstract: Glucocorticoids induced osteonecrosis of the femoral head (GIONFH) is a devastating orthopedic disease. Previous studies suggested that connexin43 is involved in the process of osteogenesis and angiogenesis. However, the role of Cx43 potentiates in the osteogenesis and angiogenesis of bone marrow-derived stromal stem cells (BMSCs) in GIONFH is still not investigated. In this study, BMSCs were isolated and transfected with green fluorescent protein or the fusion gene encoding GFP and Cx43. The osteogenic differentiation of BMSCs were detected after transfected with Cx43. In addition, the migration abilities and angiogenesis of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) were been detected after induced by transfected BMSCs supernatants in vitro. Finally, we established GC-ONFH rat model, then, a certain amount of transfected or controlled BMSCs were injected into the tibia of the rats. Immunohistological staining and micro-CT scanning results showed that the transplanted experiment group had significantly promoted more bone regeneration and vessel volume when compared with the effects of the negative or control groups. This study demonstrated for the first time that the Cx43 overexpression in BMSCs could promote bone regeneration as seen in the osteogenesis and angiogenesis process, suggesting that Cx43 may serve as a therapeutic gene target for GIONFH treatment.

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