GHK Peptide as a Natural Modulator of Multiple Cellular Pathways in Skin Regeneration
We have studied the effects of the complex Glycyl-L-Histidyl-L-Lysine:Cu (GHK:Cu), the GHK sequence present in the alpha 2 (I) chain of human collagen (Coll I), and bone matrix glycoproteins containing either RGD (fibronectin, FN), or RGD and GHK (Coll I), on the spreading, attachment and markers of the osteoblast phenotype in rat calvaria cells (RC), human trabecular osteoblastic cells (HT) and human marrow stromal cells (HM). Coll I (20 micrograms/ml) and FN (20 micrograms/ml) coating enhanced osteoblastic cell spreading, whereas free GHK:Cu and GHK coating (10(-10)-10(-8) M) had no effect. FN and Coll I, as well as GHK:Cu and GHK, increased the attachment of RC and HT cells. The attachment of both total number of cells and alkaline phosphatase (ALP)-positive osteoblastic cells was increased, showing no preferential effect on cells expressing this early marker of the osteoblast phenotype. In addition, immunocytochemical analysis showed that FN, Coll I and GHK:Cu coating increased both the total number of HM cells and the number of HM cells expressing Coll I or osteocalcin, indicating that GHK:Cu and RGD-containing proteins acted similarly on cells expressing different maturational stages. In contrast to its effect on cell attachment, GHK:Cu coating slightly inhibited the basal and 1,25(OH)2D-induced stimulation of ALP activity or osteocalcin production in rat and human osteoblastic cells. The finding that GHK promotes cell attachment and decreases the phenotype of normal rat and human osteoblastic cells suggests that osteoblasts may interact with free GHK or GHK-containing proteins in the bone matrix.