Osteoblasts are cells specialized in extracellular matrix production and mineralization. In collaboration with osteoclasts which are bone-resorbing cells, osteoblasts regulate bone homeostasis. The study of osteoblast differentiation from the earliest states of the differentiation can be performed using embryonic stem cells. Embryonic stem cells are pluripotent cells which have the capacity to give rise to all kinds of cells of the body. The main protocol to differentiate embryonic stem cells into osteoblast uses the generation of embryoid body which is a three-dimensional structure mimicking the developing embryo. Recently, it has been shown that human embryonic stem cells have the capacity to differentiate spontaneously into osteoblasts. In this manuscript, we showed that mouse embryonic stem cells have the capacity to differentiate spontaneously into osteoblasts, which can be visualized by the appearance of mineralization nodules and osteogenic markers.
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Vol. 43 • No. 1