Caspase-3 is a critical enzyme for apoptosis and cell survival. Here we report delayed ossification and decreased bone mineral density in caspase-3–deficient (Casp3–/– and Casp3+/–) mice due to an attenuated osteogenic differentiation of bone marrow stromal stem cells (BMSSCs). The mechanism involved in the impaired differentiation of BMSSCs is due, at least partially, to the overactivated TGF-β/Smad2 signaling pathway and the upregulated expressions of p53 and p21 along with the downregulated expressions of Cdk2 and Cdc2, and ultimately increased replicative senescence. In addition, the overactivated TGF-β/Smad2 signaling may result in the compromised Runx2/Cbfa1 expression in preosteoblasts. Furthermore, we demonstrate that caspase-3 inhibitor, a potential agent for clinical treatment of human diseases, caused accelerated bone loss in ovariectomized mice, which is also associated with the overactivated TGF-β/Smad2 signaling in BMSSCs. This study demonstrates that caspase-3 is crucial for the differentiation of BMSSCs by influencing TGF-β/Smad2 pathway and cell cycle progression.
Masako Miura, Xiao-Dong Chen, Matthew R. Allen, Yanming Bi, Stan Gronthos, Byoung-Moo Seo, Saquib Lakhani, Richard A. Flavell, Xin-Hua Feng, Pamela Gehron Robey, Marian Young, Songtao Shi
Receptor activator of NF-κB ligand (RANKL) plays an essential role in osteoclast formation and bone resorption. Although genetic and biochemical studies indicate that RANKL regulates osteoclast differentiation by activating receptor activator of NF-κB and associated signaling molecules, the molecular mechanisms of RANKL-regulated osteoclast differentiation have not yet been fully established. We investigated the role of the transcription factor c-Jun, which is activated by RANKL, in osteoclastogenesis using transgenic mice expressing dominant-negative c-Jun specifically in the osteoclast lineage. We found that the transgenic mice manifested severe osteopetrosis due to impaired osteoclastogenesis. Blockade of c-Jun signaling also markedly inhibited soluble RANKL-induced osteoclast differentiation in vitro. Overexpression of nuclear factor of activated T cells 1 (NFAT1) (NFATc2/NFATp) or NFAT2 (NFATc1/NFATc) promoted differentiation of osteoclast precursor cells into tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase–positive (TRAP–positive) multinucleated osteoclast-like cells even in the absence of RANKL. Overexpression of NFAT1 also markedly transactivated the TRAP gene promoter. These osteoclastogenic activities of NFAT were abrogated by overexpression of dominant-negative c-Jun. Importantly, osteoclast differentiation and induction of NFAT2 expression by NFAT1 overexpression or soluble RANKL treatment were profoundly diminished in spleen cells of the transgenic mice. Collectively, these results indicate that c-Jun signaling in cooperation with NFAT is crucial for RANKL-regulated osteoclast differentiation.
Fumiyo Ikeda, Riko Nishimura, Takuma Matsubara, Sakae Tanaka, Jun-ichiro Inoue, Sakamuri V. Reddy, Kenji Hata, Kenji Yamashita, Toru Hiraga, Toshiyuki Watanabe, Toshio Kukita, Katsuji Yoshioka, Anjana Rao, Toshiyuki Yoneda
While platelet-activating factor (PAF) is produced in various diseases associated with bone resorption, its functions in bone metabolism remain unknown. Using PAF receptor–deficient mice, we evaluated the role of PAF in the development of bone resorption following ovariectomy, a model of postmenopausal osteoporosis. Through observations of bone mineral density and histomorphometric parameters, it was found that bone resorption was markedly attenuated in PAF receptor–deficient mice, indicating that PAF links estrogen depletion and osteoporosis in vivo. Osteoclasts expressed higher amounts of the enzymes required for PAF biosynthesis than osteoblasts. TNF-α and IL-1β increased the acetyl-coenzyme A:lyso-PAF acetyltransferase activity in osteoclasts. Osteoclasts, but not osteoblasts, expressed the functional PAF receptor. PAF receptor stimulation prolonged the survival of osteoclasts in vitro. Furthermore, osteoclasts treated with a PAF receptor antagonist, and also those from PAF receptor–deficient mice, showed reductions in survival rate and Ca resorption activity. Consistently, in organ cultures, bone resorption was significantly suppressed by a PAF receptor antagonist treatment or genetic PAF receptor deficiency. Thus, these results suggest that, through the inflammatory cytokines, estrogen depletion enhances PAF production as a unique autocrine factor for osteoclast functions. Inhibition of PAF function might pave the way for a new strategy to prevent postmenopausal bone loss without disturbing osteoblast functions.
Hisako Hikiji, Satoshi Ishii, Hideo Shindou, Tsuyoshi Takato, Takao Shimizu
Parathyroid hormone–related peptide (PTHrP) is a positive regulator of chondrocyte proliferation during bone development. In embryonic mice lacking PTHrP, chondrocytes stop proliferating prematurely, with accelerated differentiation. Because the bone phenotype of mice lacking the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p57Kip2 is the opposite of the PTHrP-null phenotype, we hypothesized that PTHrP’s proliferative actions in chondrocytes might be mediated by opposing p57. We generated p57/PTHrP-null embryos, which showed partial rescue of the PTHrP-null phenotype. There was reversal of the loss of proliferative chondrocytes in most bones, with reversal of the accelerated differentiation that occurs in the PTHrP-null phenotype. p57 mRNA and protein were upregulated in proliferative chondrocytes in the absence of PTHrP. Metatarsal culture studies confirmed the action of PTHrP to decrease p57 mRNA and protein levels in a model in which parathyroid hormone (PTH), used as an analog of PTHrP, increased chondrocyte proliferation rate and the length of the proliferative domain. PTH treatment of p57-null metatarsals had no effect on proliferation rate in round proliferative chondrocytes but still stimulated proliferation in columnar chondrocytes. These studies suggest that the effects of PTHrP on both the rate and extent of chondrocyte proliferation are mediated, at least in part, through suppression of p57 expression.
Helen E. MacLean, Jun Guo, Melissa C. Knight, Pumin Zhang, David Cobrinik, Henry M. Kronenberg
Based on the fact that aging is associated with a reciprocal decrease of osteogenesis and an increase of adipogenesis in bone marrow and that osteoblasts and adipocytes share a common progenitor, this study investigated the role of PPARγ, a key regulator of adipocyte differentiation, in bone metabolism. Homozygous PPARγ-deficient ES cells failed to differentiate into adipocytes, but spontaneously differentiated into osteoblasts, and these were restored by reintroduction of the PPARγ gene. Heterozygous PPARγ-deficient mice exhibited high bone mass with increased osteoblastogenesis, but normal osteoblast and osteoclast functions, and this effect was not mediated by insulin or leptin. The osteogenic effect of PPARγ haploinsufficiency became prominent with aging but was not changed upon ovariectomy. The PPARγ haploinsufficiency was confirmed to enhance osteoblastogenesis in the bone marrow cell culture but did not affect the cultures of differentiated osteoblasts or osteoclast-lineage cells. This study demonstrates a PPARγ-dependent regulation of bone metabolism in vivo, in that PPARγ insufficiency increases bone mass by stimulating osteoblastogenesis from bone marrow progenitors.
Toru Akune, Shinsuke Ohba, Satoru Kamekura, Masayuki Yamaguchi, Ung-il Chung, Naoto Kubota, Yasuo Terauchi, Yoshifumi Harada, Yoshiaki Azuma, Kozo Nakamura, Takashi Kadowaki, Hiroshi Kawaguchi
The role of TGF-β/bone morphogenetic protein signaling in the chondrogenic differentiation of human synovial fibroblasts (SFs) was examined with the adenovirus vector–mediated gene transduction system. Expression of constitutively active activin receptor–like kinase 3 (ALK3CA) induced chondrocyte-specific gene expression in SFs cultured in pellets or in SF pellets transplanted into nude mice, in which both the Smad and p38 pathways are essential. To analyze downstream cascades of ALK3 signaling, we utilized adenovirus vectors carrying either Smad1 to stimulate Smad pathways or constitutively active MKK6 (MKK6CA) to activate p38 pathways. Smad1 expression had a synergistic effect on ALK3CA, while activation of p38 MAP kinase pathways alone by transduction of MKK6CA accelerated terminal chondrocytic differentiation, leading to type X collagen expression and enhanced mineralization. Overexpression of Smad1 prevented MKK6CA-induced type X collagen expression and maintained type II collagen expression. In a mouse model of osteoarthritis, activated p38 expression as well as type X collagen staining was detected in osteochondrophytes and marginal synovial cells. These results suggest that SFs can be differentiated into chondrocytes via ALK3 activation and that stimulating Smad pathways and controlling p38 activation at the proper level can be a good therapeutic strategy for maintaining the healthy joint homeostasis and treating degenerative joint disorders.
Hiroaki Seto, Satoshi Kamekura, Toshiki Miura, Aiichiro Yamamoto, Hirotaka Chikuda, Toru Ogata, Hisatada Hiraoka, Hiromi Oda, Kozo Nakamura, Hisashi Kurosawa, Ung-il Chug, Hiroshi Kawaguchi, Sakae Tanaka
The gp130-dependent cytokines, which signal through at least two intracellular pathways, regulate osteoclast and osteoblast formation. To define their roles in regulating bone mass, we analyzed mice in which gp130 signaling via either the signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) 1/3 (gp130ΔSTAT/ΔSTAT) or SHP2/ras/MAPK (gp130Y757F/Y757F) pathway was attenuated. In gp130ΔSTAT/ΔSTAT mice, trabecular bone volume (BV/TV) and turnover were normal, but bone length was reduced by premature growth plate closure, indicating an essential role for gp130-STAT1/3 signaling in chondrocyte differentiation. In contrast, while bone size was normal in gp130Y757F/Y757F mice, BV/TV was reduced due to high bone turnover, indicated by high osteoclast surface/bone surface (OcS/BS) and osteoblast surface/bone surface (ObS/BS). Furthermore, generation of functional osteoclasts from bone marrow of gp130Y757F/Y757F mice was elevated, revealing that while gp130 family cytokines stimulate osteoclastogenesis through the osteoblast lineage, gp130, via SHP2/Ras/MAPK, inhibits osteoclastogenesis in a cell lineage–autonomous manner. Genetic ablation of IL-6 in gp130Y757F/Y757F mice exacerbated this osteopenia by reducing ObS/BS without affecting OcS/BS. Thus, while IL-6 is critical for high bone formation in gp130Y757F/Y757F mice, it is not involved in the increased osteoclastogenesis. In conclusion, gp130 is essential for normal bone growth and trabecular bone mass, with balanced regulation depending on selective activation of STAT1/3 and SHP2/ras/MAPK, respectively. Furthermore, the latter pathway can directly inhibit osteoclastogenesis in vivo.
Natalie A. Sims, Brendan J. Jenkins, Julian M.W. Quinn, Akira Nakamura, Markus Glatt, Matthew T. Gillespie, Matthias Ernst, T. John Martin
VEGF is crucial for metaphyseal bone vascularization. In contrast, the angiogenic factors required for vascularization of epiphyseal cartilage are unknown, although this represents a developmentally and clinically important aspect of bone growth. The
Christa Maes, Ingrid Stockmans, Karen Moermans, Riet Van Looveren, Nico Smets, Peter Carmeliet, Roger Bouillon, Geert Carmeliet
We describe the effects of the overexpression of noggin, a bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) inhibitor, on osteoblast differentiation and bone formation. Cells of the osteoblast and chondrocyte lineages, as well as bone marrow macrophages, showed intense β-gal histo- or cytostaining in adult noggin+/– mice that had a LacZ transgene inserted at the site of noggin deletion. Despite identical BMP levels, however, osteoblasts of 20-month-old C57BL/6J and 4-month-old senescence-accelerated mice (SAM-P6 mice) had noggin expression levels that were approximately fourfold higher than those of 4-month-old C57BL/6J and SAM-R1 (control) mice, respectively. U-33 preosteoblastic cells overexpressing the noggin gene showed defective maturation and, in parallel, a decreased expression of Runx-2, bone sialoprotein, osteocalcin, and RANK-L. Noggin did not inhibit the ligandless signaling and pro-differentiation action of the constitutively activated BMP receptor type 1A, ca-ALK-3. Transgenic mice overexpressing noggin in mature osteocalcin-positive osteoblasts showed dramatic decreases in bone mineral density and bone formation rates with histological evidence of decreased trabecular bone and CFU-osteoblast colonies at 4 and 8 months. Together, the results provide compelling evidence that noggin, expressed in mature osteoblasts, inhibits osteoblast differentiation and bone formation. Thus, the overproduction of noggin during biological aging may result in impaired osteoblast formation and function and hence, net bone loss.
Xue-Bin Wu, Yanan Li, Adina Schneider, Wanqin Yu, Gopalan Rajendren, Jameel Iqbal, Matsuo Yamamoto, Mohammad Alam, Lisa J. Brunet, Harry C. Blair, Mone Zaidi, Etsuko Abe
The mechanisms through which estrogen prevents bone loss are uncertain. Elsewhere, estrogen exerts beneficial actions by suppression of reactive oxygen species (ROS). ROS stimulate osteoclasts, the cells that resorb bone. Thus, estrogen might prevent bone loss by enhancing oxidant defenses in bone. We found that glutathione and thioredoxin, the major thiol antioxidants, and glutathione and thioredoxin reductases, the enzymes responsible for maintaining them in a reduced state, fell substantially in rodent bone marrow after ovariectomy and were rapidly normalized by exogenous 17-β estradiol. Moreover, administration of N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) or ascorbate, antioxidants that increase tissue glutathione levels, abolished ovariectomy-induced bone loss, while L-buthionine-(S,R)-sulphoximine (BSO), a specific inhibitor of glutathione synthesis, caused substantial bone loss. The 17-β estradiol increased glutathione and glutathione and thioredoxin reductases in osteoclast-like cells in vitro. Furthermore, in vitro NAC prevented osteoclast formation and NF-κB activation. BSO and hydrogen peroxide did the opposite. Expression of TNF-α, a target for NF-κB and a cytokine strongly implicated in estrogen-deficiency bone loss, was suppressed in osteoclasts by 17-β estradiol and NAC. These observations strongly suggest that estrogen deficiency causes bone loss by lowering thiol antioxidants in osteoclasts. This directly sensitizes osteoclasts to osteoclastogenic signals and entrains ROS-enhanced expression of cytokines that promote osteoclastic bone resorption.
Jenny M. Lean, Julie T. Davies, Karen Fuller, Christopher J. Jagger, Barrie Kirstein, Geoffrey A. Partington, Zoë L. Urry, Timothy J. Chambers