Genomic actions induced by 1α25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 [1,25(OH)2D3] are crucial for normal bone metabolism, mainly because they regulate active intestinal calcium transport. To evaluate whether the vitamin D receptor (VDR) has a specific role in growth-plate development and endochondral bone formation, we investigated mice with conditional inactivation of VDR in chondrocytes. Growth-plate chondrocyte development was not affected by the lack of VDR. Yet vascular invasion was impaired, and osteoclast number was reduced in juvenile mice, resulting in increased trabecular bone mass. In vitro experiments confirmed that VDR signaling in chondrocytes directly regulated osteoclastogenesis by inducing receptor activator of NF-κB ligand (RANKL) expression. Remarkably, mineral homeostasis was also affected in chondrocyte-specific VDR-null mice, as serum phosphate and 1,25(OH)2D levels were increased in young mice, in whom growth-plate activity is important. Both in vivo and in vitro analysis indicated that VDR inactivation in chondrocytes reduced the expression of FGF23 by osteoblasts and consequently led to increased renal expression of 1α-hydroxylase and of sodium phosphate cotransporter type IIa. Taken together, our findings provide evidence that VDR signaling in chondrocytes is required for timely osteoclast formation during bone development and for the endocrine action of bone in phosphate homeostasis.
Ritsuko Masuyama, Ingrid Stockmans, Sophie Torrekens, Riet Van Looveren, Christa Maes, Peter Carmeliet, Roger Bouillon, Geert Carmeliet
Excessive bone loss in arthritic diseases is mostly due to abnormal activation of the immune system leading to stimulation of osteoclasts. While phospholipase Cγ (PLCγ) isoforms are known modulators of T and B lymphocyte–mediated immune responses, we found that blockade of PLCγ enzymatic activity also blocks early osteoclast development and function. Importantly, targeted deletion of Plcg2 in mice led to an osteopetrotic phenotype. PLCγ2, independent of PLCγ1, was required for receptor activator of NF-κB ligand–induced (RANKL-induced) osteoclastogenesis by differentially regulating nuclear factor of activated T cells c1 (NFATc1), activator protein–1 (AP1), and NF-κB. Specifically, we show that NFATc1 upregulation is dependent on RANKL-mediated phosphorylation of PLCγ2 downstream of Dap12/Fc receptor γ (Dap12/FcRγ) receptors and is blocked by the PLCγ inhibitor U73122. In contrast, activation of JNK and NF-κB was not affected by U73122 or Dap12/FcRγ deletion. Interestingly, we found that in osteoclasts, PLCγ2 formed a complex with the regulatory adapter molecule GAB2, was required for GAB2 phosphorylation, and modulated GAB2 recruitment to RANK. Thus, PLCγ2 mediates RANKL-induced osteoclastogenesis and is a potential candidate for antiresorptive therapy.
Dailing Mao, Holly Epple, Brian Uthgenannt, Deborah V. Novack, Roberta Faccio
Individuals with neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) have a high incidence of osteoporosis and osteopenia. However, understanding of the cellular and molecular basis of these sequelae is incomplete. Osteoclasts are specialized myeloid cells that are the principal bone-resorbing cells of the skeleton. We found that Nf1+/– mice contain elevated numbers of multinucleated osteoclasts. Both osteoclasts and osteoclast progenitors from Nf1+/– mice were hyperresponsive to limiting concentrations of M-CSF and receptor activator of NF-κB ligand (RANKL) levels. M-CSF–stimulated p21ras-GTP and Akt phosphorylation was elevated in Nf1+/– osteoclasts associated with gains of function in survival, proliferation, migration, adhesion, and lytic activity. These gains of function are associated with more severe bone loss following ovariectomy as compared with that in syngeneic WT mice. Intercrossing Nf1+/– mice and mice deficient in class 1A PI3K (p85α) restored elevated PI3K activity and Nf1+/– osteoclast functions to WT levels. Furthermore, in vitro–differentiated osteoclasts from NF1 patients also displayed elevated Ras/PI3K activity and increased lytic activity analogous to those in murine Nf1+/– osteoclasts. Collectively, our results identify a what we believe to be a novel cellular and biochemical NF1-haploinsufficient phenotype in osteoclasts that has potential implications for the pathogenesis of NF1 bone disease.
Feng-Chun Yang, Shi Chen, Alexander G. Robling, Xijie Yu, Todd D. Nebesio, Jincheng Yan, Trent Morgan, Xiaohong Li, Jin Yuan, Janet Hock, David A. Ingram, D. Wade Clapp
The use of estrogens and androgens to prevent bone loss is limited by their unwanted side effects, especially in reproductive organs and breast. Selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) partially avoid such unwanted effects, but their efficacy on bone is only moderate compared with that of estradiol or androgens. Estrens have been suggested to not only prevent bone loss but also exert anabolic effects on bone while avoiding unwanted effects on reproductive organs. In this study, we compared the effects of a SERM (PSK3471) and 2 estrens (estren-α and estren-β) on bone and reproductive organs to determine whether estrens are safe and act via the estrogen receptors and/or the androgen receptor (AR). Estrens and PSK3471 prevented gonadectomy-induced bone loss in male and female mice, but none showed true anabolic effects. Unlike SERMs, the estrens induced reproductive organ hypertrophy in both male and female mice and enhanced MCF-7 cell proliferation in vitro. Estrens directly activated transcription in several cell lines, albeit at much higher concentrations than estradiol or the SERM, and acted for the most part through the AR. We conclude that the estrens act mostly through the AR and, in mice, do not fulfill the preclinical efficacy or safety criteria required for the treatment or prevention of osteoporosis.
Sara H. Windahl, René Galien, Riccardo Chiusaroli, Philippe Clément-Lacroix, Frederic Morvan, Liên Lepescheux, François Nique, William C. Horne, Michèle Resche-Rigon, Roland Baron
The pathogenesis of glucocorticoid-induced (GC-induced) bone loss is unclear. For example, osteoblast apoptosis is enhanced by GCs in vivo, but they stimulate bone formation in vitro. This conundrum suggests that an intermediary cell transmits a component of the bone-suppressive effects of GCs to osteoblasts in the intact animal. Bone remodeling is characterized by tethering of the activities of osteoclasts and osteoblasts. Hence, the osteoclast is a potential modulator of the effect of GCs on osteoblasts. To define the direct impact of GCs on bone-resorptive cells, we compared the effects of dexamethasone (DEX) on WT osteoclasts with those derived from mice with disruption of the GC receptor in osteoclast lineage cells (GRoc–/– mice). While the steroid prolonged longevity of osteoclasts, their bone-degrading capacity was suppressed. The inhibitory effect of DEX on bone resorption reflects failure of osteoclasts to organize their cytoskeleton in response to M-CSF. DEX specifically arrested M-CSF activation of RhoA, Rac, and Vav3, each of which regulate the osteoclast cytoskeleton. In all circumstances GRoc–/– mice were spared the impact of DEX on osteoclasts and their precursors. Consistent with osteoclasts modulating the osteoblast-suppressive effect of DEX, GRoc–/– mice are protected from the steroid’s inhibition of bone formation.
Hyun-Ju Kim, Haibo Zhao, Hideki Kitaura, Sandip Bhattacharyya, Judson A. Brewer, Louis J. Muglia, F. Patrick Ross, Steven L. Teitelbaum
Activating receptor activator of NF-κB (RANK) and TNF receptor (TNFR) promote osteoclast differentiation. A critical ligand contact site on the TNFR is partly conserved in RANK. Surface plasmon resonance studies showed that a peptide (WP9QY) that mimics this TNFR contact site and inhibits TNF-α–induced activity bound to RANK ligand (RANKL). Changing a single residue predicted to play an important role in the interaction reduced the binding significantly. WP9QY, but not the altered control peptide, inhibited the RANKL-induced activation of RANK-dependent signaling in RAW 264.7 cells but had no effect on M-CSF–induced activation of some of the same signaling events. WP9QY but not the control peptide also prevented RANKL-induced bone resorption and osteoclastogenesis, even when TNFRs were absent or blocked. In vivo, where both RANKL and TNF-α promote osteoclastogenesis, osteoclast activity, and bone loss, WP9QY prevented the increased osteoclastogenesis and bone loss induced in mice by ovariectomy or low dietary calcium, in the latter case in both wild-type and TNFR double-knockout mice. These results suggest that a peptide that mimics a TNFR ligand contact site blocks bone resorption by interfering with recruitment and activation of osteoclasts by both RANKL and TNF.
Kazuhiro Aoki, Hiroaki Saito, Cecile Itzstein, Masaji Ishiguro, Tatsuya Shibata, Roland Blanque, Anower Hussain Mian, Mariko Takahashi, Yoshifumi Suzuki, Masako Yoshimatsu, Akira Yamaguchi, Pierre Deprez, Patrick Mollat, Ramachandran Murali, Keiichi Ohya, William C. Horne, Roland Baron
Current therapies for delayed- or nonunion bone fractures are still largely ineffective. Previous studies indicated that the VEGF homolog placental growth factor (PlGF) has a more significant role in disease than in health. Therefore we investigated the role of PlGF in a model of semistabilized bone fracture healing. Fracture repair in mice lacking PlGF was impaired and characterized by a massive accumulation of cartilage in the callus, reminiscent of delayed- or nonunion fractures. PlGF was required for the early recruitment of inflammatory cells and the vascularization of the fracture wound. Interestingly, however, PlGF also played a role in the subsequent stages of the repair process. Indeed in vivo and in vitro findings indicated that PlGF induced the proliferation and osteogenic differentiation of mesenchymal progenitors and stimulated cartilage turnover by particular MMPs. Later in the process, PlGF was required for the remodeling of the newly formed bone by stimulating osteoclast differentiation. As PlGF expression was increased throughout the process of bone repair and all the important cell types involved expressed its receptor VEGFR-1, the present data suggest that PlGF is required for mediating and coordinating the key aspects of fracture repair. Therefore PlGF may potentially offer therapeutic advantages for fracture repair.
Christa Maes, Lieve Coenegrachts, Ingrid Stockmans, Evis Daci, Aernout Luttun, Anna Petryk, Rajaram Gopalakrishnan, Karen Moermans, Nico Smets, Catherine M. Verfaillie, Peter Carmeliet, Roger Bouillon, Geert Carmeliet
Although active vitamin D drugs have been used for the treatment of osteoporosis, how the vitamin D receptor (VDR) regulates bone cell function remains largely unknown. Using osteoprotegerin-deficient mice, which exhibit severe osteoporosis due to excessive receptor activator of NF-κB ligand/receptor activator of NF-κB (RANKL/RANK) stimulation, we show herein that oral treatment of these mice with 1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 [1α,25(OH)2D3] inhibited bone resorption and prevented bone loss, suggesting that VDR counters RANKL/RANK signaling. In M-CSF–dependent osteoclast precursor cells isolated from mouse bone marrow, 1α,25(OH)2D3 potently and dose-dependently inhibited their differentiation into multinucleate osteoclasts induced by RANKL. Among signaling molecules downstream of RANK, 1α,25(OH)2D3 inhibited the induction of c-Fos protein after RANKL stimulation, and retroviral expression of c-Fos protein abrogated the suppressive effect of 1α,25(OH)2D3 on osteoclast development. By screening vitamin D analogs based on their c-Fos–suppressing activity, we identified a new analog, named DD281, that inhibited bone resorption and prevented bone loss in ovariectomized mice, more potently than 1α,25(OH)2D3, with similar levels of calcium absorption. Thus, c-Fos protein is an important target of the skeletal action of VDR-based drugs, and DD281 is a bone-selective analog that may be useful for the treatment of bone diseases with excessive osteoclastic activity.
Hisashi Takasu, Atsuko Sugita, Yasushi Uchiyama, Nobuyoshi Katagiri, Makoto Okazaki, Etsuro Ogata, Kyoji Ikeda
TNF-α is the dominant cytokine in inflammatory osteolysis. Using mice whose BM stromal cells and osteoclast precursors are chimeric for the presence of TNF receptors, we found that both cell types mediated the cytokine’s osteoclastogenic properties. The greater contribution was made, however, by stromal cells that express the osteoclastogenic cytokine M-CSF. TNF-α stimulated M-CSF gene expression, in vivo, only in the presence of TNF-responsive stromal cells. M-CSF, in turn, induced the key osteoclastogenic cytokine receptor, receptor activator of NF-κB (RANK), in osteoclast precursors. In keeping with the proproliferative and survival properties of M-CSF, TNF-α enhanced osteoclast precursor number only in the presence of stromal cells bearing TNF receptors. To determine the clinical relevance of these observations, we induced inflammatory arthritis in wild-type mice and treated them with a mAb directed against the M-CSF receptor, c-Fms. Anti–c-Fms mAb selectively and completely arrested the profound pathological osteoclastogenesis attending this condition, the significance of which is reflected by similar blunting of the in vivo bone resorption marker tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase 5b (TRACP 5b). Confirming that inhibition of the M-CSF signaling pathway targets TNF-α, anti–c-Fms also completely arrested osteolysis in TNF-injected mice with nominal effect on macrophage number. M-CSF and its receptor, c-Fms, therefore present as candidate therapeutic targets in states of inflammatory bone erosion.
Hideki Kitaura, Ping Zhou, Hyun-Ju Kim, Deborah V. Novack, F. Patrick Ross, Steven L. Teitelbaum
TNF receptor–associated factor 6 (TRAF6) associates with the cytoplasmic domain of receptor activator of NF-κB (RANK). This event is central to normal osteoclastogenesis. We discovered that TRAF6 also interacts with FHL2 (four and a half LIM domain 2), a LIM domain–only protein that functions as a transcriptional coactivator or corepressor in a cell-type–specific manner. FHL2 mRNA and protein are undetectable in marrow macrophages and increase pari passu with osteoclast differentiation in vitro. FHL2 inhibits TRAF6-induced NF-κB activity in wild-type osteoclast precursors and, in keeping with its role as a suppressor of TRAF6-mediated RANK signaling, TRAF6/RANK association is enhanced in FHL2–/– osteoclasts. FHL2 overexpression delays RANK ligand–induced (RANKL-induced) osteoclast formation and cytoskeletal organization. Interestingly, osteoclast-residing FHL2 is not detectable in naive wild-type mice, in vivo, but is abundant in those treated with RANKL and following induction of inflammatory arthritis. Reflecting increased RANKL sensitivity, osteoclasts generated from FHL2–/– mice reach maturation and optimally organize their cytoskeleton earlier than their wild-type counterparts. As a consequence, FHL2–/– osteoclasts are hyperresorptive, and mice lacking the protein undergo enhanced RANKL and inflammatory arthritis–stimulated bone loss. FHL2 is, therefore, an antiosteoclastogenic molecule exerting its effect by attenuating TRAF6-mediated RANK signaling.
Shuting Bai, Hideki Kitaura, Haibo Zhao, Ju Chen, Judith M. Müller, Roland Schüle, Bryant Darnay, Deborah V. Novack, F. Patrick Ross, Steven L. Teitelbaum