DDR2, a discoidin domain receptor, is a marker of periosteal osteoblast and osteoblast progenitors.

The periosteum has a bilayered structure that surrounds cortical bone. The outer layer is rich in connective tissue and fibroblasts, while the inner layer in contact with the cortical surface of the bone predominantly consists of osteoblasts and osteoblast progenitors.

The identification of cell-specific surface markers of the bilayered structure of the periosteum is important for the purpose of tissue regeneration.We investigated the expression of the discoidin domain tyrosine kinase receptor DDR2, fibroblast specific protein-1 (FSP-1) and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) in the periosteum of cortical bone by immunohistochemistry.

Osteogenic differentiation was compared between DDR2- and FSP-1-expressing cells flow-sorted from the periosteum.We showed that DDR2 predominantly labeled osteogenic cells residing in the inner layer of the periosteum and that Pearson’s coefficient of colocalization indicated a significant correlation with the expression of ALP.

The mineralization of DDR2-expressing osteogenic cells isolated from the periosteum was significantly induced. In contrast, FSP-1 predominantly labeled the outer layer of periosteal fibroblasts, and Pearson’s coefficient of colocalization indicated that FSP-1 was poorly correlated with the expression of DDR2 and ALP.

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FSP-1-expressing periosteal fibroblasts did not exhibit osteogenic differentiation for the induction of bone mineralization.DDR2 is a novel potential cell surface marker for identifying and isolating osteoblasts and osteoblast progenitors within the periosteum that can be used for musculoskeletal regenerative therapies.

Mouse monoclonal anti-CD