Hyperhomocysteinemia (HHCY) is a risk factor for osteoporosis but whether HHCY affects bone mineralization or not is still ambiguous. Herein we evaluated whether homocysteine affects tissue mineral density (TMD) of cortical bone and if so the role of osteocytes. CD1 mice administered with homocysteine (5 mg/100 g body weight, i.p.) for 7, 15 and 30 days showed temporal changes in TMD and osteocyte lacunar density in femoral cortices. Short-term administration of homocysteine (day 7) increased osteocyte lacunar density and reduced TMD evidenced by microCT50 while prolonged administration of homocysteine (day 30) reinstated TMD and lacunar density to baseline values. Major differences were decreased number of nucleated osteocyte lacunae, increased number of empty lacunae and cleaved caspase 3-positive osteocyte lacunae in day 30 HHCY bone evidenced by H&E staining and immunohistochemistry. Other differences were induction in mineralization genes like Dmp1, Phex and Sost in cortical bone by real-time PCR and increased number of Dmp1- and Sost-positive osteocyte lacunae in day 30 HHCY bone evidenced by immunohistochemistry. Both HHCY day 7 and day 30 samples showed reduced Young’s modulus demonstrating that biomechanical property of bone was lost during early HHCY itself, which did not improve with recovery of TMD. Our results thus demonstrate occurrence of two phases in cortical bone upon HHCY: the early phase that involved loss of TMD and increase in osteocyte numbers and a late phase that involved osteocyte reprogramming, apoptosis and mineralization, which reinstated TMD but compromised biomechanical property. To conclude, osteocytes have a potential role in arbitrating bone pathogenesis during HHCY.
Viji Vijayan and Sarika Gupta
M. Zaidi, T. J. Chambers, R. E. Gaines Das, H. R. Morris and I. MacIntyre
The calcitonin gene encodes a small family of peptides: calcitonin, calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) and katacalcin. Whereas calcitonin is concerned with skeletal maintenance, the function, if any, of katacalcin is still unknown. In the present study we have assessed resorption of human cortical bone substrate by isolated rat osteoclasts and have shown that CGRP acts directly on the osteoclast to inhibit bone resorption. The three CGRP peptides (rat, human(a) and human(β)) caused an almost equivalent decrease in osteoclastic bone resorption and were approximately 1000-fold less potent than human calcitonin in this respect. The responses of human calcitonin and human CGRP(α) were additive. Furthermore, prior treatment with trypsin to destroy receptors abolished the responsiveness of osteoclasts to CGRP and calcitonin. The carboxyl- and amino-terminal fragments of CGRP were found not to inhibit bone resorption, suggesting that the whole molecule of CGRP is necessary for biological activity. We have therefore suggested that the calcitonin-like effects of CGRP, seen both in vivo in the rat bioassay and in vitro in organ cultures, are due to the direct action of CGRP on the osteoclast, probably mediated through the calcitonin receptor. Though it is unlikely that CGRP is involved in the regulation of plasma calcium, the peptide may be an important local regulator of bone cell function.
J. Endocr. (1987) 115,511–518
Kristin M Aasarød, Masoud Ramezanzadehkoldeh, Maziar Shabestari, Mats P Mosti, Astrid K Stunes, Janne E Reseland, Vidar Beisvag, Erik Fink Eriksen, Arne K Sandvik, Reinhold G Erben, Christiane Schüler, Malcolm Boyce, Bjørn H Skallerud, Unni Syversen and Reidar Fossmark
Epidemiological studies suggest an increased fracture risk in patients taking proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) for long term. The underlying mechanism, however, has been disputed. By binding to the gastric proton pump, PPIs inhibit gastric acid secretion. We have previously shown that proton pump (H+/K+ATPase beta subunit) KO mice exhibit reduced bone mineral density (BMD) and inferior bone strength compared with WT mice. Patients using PPIs as well as these KO mice exhibit gastric hypoacidity, and subsequently increased serum concentrations of the hormone gastrin. In this study, we wanted to examine whether inhibition of the gastrin/CCK2 receptor influences bone quality in these mice. KO and WT mice were given either the gastrin/CCK2 receptor antagonist netazepide dissolved in polyethylene glycol (PEG) or only PEG for 1year. We found significantly lower bone mineral content and BMD, as well as inferior bone microarchitecture in KO mice compared with WT. Biomechanical properties by three-point bending test also proved inferior in KO mice. KO mice receiving netazepide exhibited significantly higher cortical thickness, cortical area fraction, trabecular thickness and trabecular BMD by micro-CT compared with the control group. Three-point bending test also showed higher Young’s modulus of elasticity in the netazepide KO group compared with control mice. In conclusion, we observed that the gastrin receptor antagonist netazepide slightly improved bone quality in this mouse model, suggesting that hypergastrinemia may contribute to deteriorated bone quality during acid inhibition.
Russell T Turner, Michael Dube, Adam J Branscum, Carmen P Wong, Dawn A Olson, Xiaoying Zhong, Mercedes F Kweh, Iske V Larkin, Thomas J Wronski, Clifford J Rosen, Satya P Kalra and Urszula T Iwaniec
Excessive weight gain in adults is associated with a variety of negative health outcomes. Unfortunately, dieting, exercise, and pharmacological interventions have had limited long-term success in weight control and can result in detrimental side effects, including accelerating age-related cancellous bone loss. We investigated the efficacy of using hypothalamic leptin gene therapy as an alternative method for reducing weight in skeletally-mature (9 months old) female rats and determined the impact of leptin-induced weight loss on bone mass, density, and microarchitecture, and serum biomarkers of bone turnover (CTx and osteocalcin). Rats were implanted with cannulae in the 3rd ventricle of the hypothalamus and injected with either recombinant adeno-associated virus encoding the gene for rat leptin (rAAV-Leptin, n=7) or a control vector encoding green fluorescent protein (rAAV-GFP, n=10) and sacrificed 18 weeks later. A baseline control group (n=7) was sacrificed at vector administration. rAAV-Leptin-treated rats lost weight (−4±2%) while rAAV-GFP-treated rats gained weight (14±2%) during the study. At study termination, rAAV-Leptin-treated rats weighed 17% less than rAAV-GFP-treated rats and had lower abdominal white adipose tissue weight (−80%), serum leptin (−77%), and serum IGF1 (−34%). Cancellous bone volume fraction in distal femur metaphysis and epiphysis, and in lumbar vertebra tended to be lower (P<0.1) in rAAV-GFP-treated rats (13.5 months old) compared to baseline control rats (9 months old). Significant differences in cancellous bone or biomarkers of bone turnover were not detected between rAAV-Leptin and rAAV-GFP rats. In summary, rAAV-Leptin-treated rats maintained a lower body weight compared to baseline and rAAV-GFP-treated rats with minimal effects on bone mass, density, microarchitecture, or biochemical markers of bone turnover.
MK Lindberg, SL Alatalo, JM Halleen, S Mohan, JA Gustafsson and C Ohlsson
There are two known estrogen receptors, estrogen receptor-alpha (ER alpha) and estrogen receptor-beta (ER beta), which may mediate the actions of estrogen. The aim of the present study was to compare fat content, skeletal growth and adult bone metabolism in female mice lacking ER alpha (ERKO), ER beta (BERKO) or both ERs (DERKO). We demonstrate that endogenous estrogens decrease the fat content in female mice via ER alpha and not ER beta. Interestingly, the longitudinal bone growth was decreased in ERKO, increased in BERKO, but was intermediate in DERKO females, demonstrating that ER alpha and ER beta exert opposing effects in the regulation of longitudinal bone growth. The effects on longitudinal bone growth were correlated with similar effects on serum levels of IGF-I. A complex regulation of the trabecular bone mineral density (BMD), probably caused by a disturbed feedback regulation of estrogen and testosterone, was observed in female ER-inactivated mice. Nevertheless, a partial functional redundancy for ER alpha and ER beta in the maintenance of the trabecular BMD was observed in the female mice at 60 days of age. Thus, ER alpha and ER beta may have separate effects (regulation of fat), opposing effects (longitudinal bone growth) or partial redundant effects (trabecular BMD at 60 days of age), depending on which parameter is studied.
MP Warren and NE Perlroth
Women have become increasingly physically active in recent decades. While exercise provides substantial health benefits, intensive exercise is also associated with a unique set of risks for the female athlete. Hypothalamic dysfunction associated with strenuous exercise, and the resulting disturbance of GnRH pulsatility, can result in delayed menarche and disruption of menstrual cyclicity. Specific mechanisms triggering reproductive dysfunction may vary across athletic disciplines. An energy drain incurred by women whose energy expenditure exceeds dietary energy intake appears to be the primary factor effecting GnRH suppression in athletes engaged in sports emphasizing leanness; nutritional restriction may be an important causal factor in the hypoestrogenism observed in these athletes. A distinct hormonal profile characterized by hyperandrogenism rather than hypoestrogenism is associated with athletes engaged in sports emphasizing strength over leanness. Complications associated with suppression of GnRH include infertility and compromised bone density. Failure to attain peak bone mass and bone loss predispose hypoestrogenic athletes to osteopenia and osteoporosis. Metabolic aberrations associated with nutritional insult may be the primary factors effecting low bone density in hypoestrogenic athletes, thus diagnosis should include careful screening for abnormal eating behavior. Increasing caloric intake to offset high energy demand may be sufficient to reverse menstrual dysfunction and stimulate bone accretion. Treatment with exogenous estrogen may help to curb further bone loss in the hypoestrogenic amenorrheic athlete, but may not be sufficient to stimulate bone growth. Treatment aimed at correcting metabolic abnormalities may in fact prove more effective than that aimed at correcting estrogen deficiencies.
N Andersson, VV Surve, D Lehto-Axtelius, C Ohlsson, R Hakanson, K Andersson and B Ryberg
Both ovariectomy (Ovx) and gastrectomy (Gx) induce osteopaenia in rats and humans. While the effect of Ovx has been ascribed to oestrogen deficiency, the underlying mechanism behind Gx is poorly understood. Alendronate, oestrogen and parathyroid hormone (PTH) are known to prevent the osteopaenia induced by Ovx in rats. The purpose of the present study was to determine whether alendronate, oestrogen or PTH could also prevent Gx-evoked osteopaenia. Rats were Ovx-, Gx-, or were sham-operated (Sham) and were then treated with alendronate (50 micro g/kg/day), oestrogen (10 micro g/kg/day) or PTH(1-84) (75 micro g/kg/day) for eight weeks. At sacrifice, serum PTH was unaffected by surgery (Ovx, 64+/-8 pg/ml; Gx, 75+/-13 pg/ml; Sham, 58+/-11 pg/ml). The bone mineral density (BMD) of the fifth lumbar vertebra (L5) was analysed. Ovx and Gx reduced the BMD (ash weight/Volume) of the L5 by 15+/-4% and 22+/-3% respectively. Trabecular BMD and the cortical bone mineral content (BMC) of the femur were assessed using peripheral computed tomography. Both Ovx and Gx markedly reduced trabecular BMD in the metaphyseal area of the distal femur (Ovx, -37+/-7%; Gx, -49+/-7%). The cortical BMC of the femur was only slightly reduced. Alendronate prevented trabecular bone loss after both Ovx and Gx, while oestrogen and PTH prevented trabecular bone loss after Ovx but not after Gx. In conclusion, the bisphosphonate alendronate prevented both Ovx- and Gx-induced trabecular bone loss. In contrast, PTH and oestrogen prevented Ovx-induced but not Gx-induced trabecular bone loss, suggesting that the mechanism behind the trabecular bone loss in Ovx rats differs from that in Gx rats. The results support the notion that the mechanism of action for the bone-sparing effect of these drugs differs. The ability of alendronate, and probably also other bisphosphonates, to prevent Gx-evoked osteopaenia in the rat might be of potential clinical interest when dealing with post-Gx osteopaenia in humans.
R Dobie, V E MacRae, C Huesa, R van't Hof, S F Ahmed and C Farquharson
The suppressor of cytokine signalling (Socs2 −/−)-knockout mouse is characterised by an overgrowth phenotype due to enhanced GH signalling. The objective of this study was to define the Socs2 −/− bone phenotype and determine whether GH promotes bone mass via IGF1-dependent mechanisms. Despite no elevation in systemic IGF1 levels, increased body weight in 4-week-old Socs2 −/− mice following GH treatment was associated with increased cortical bone area (Ct.Ar) (P<0.01). Furthermore, detailed bone analysis of male and female juvenile and adult Socs2 −/− mice revealed an altered cortical and trabecular phenotype consistent with the known anabolic effects of GH. Indeed, male Socs2 −/− mice had increased Ct.Ar (P<0.05) and thickness associated with increased strength. Despite this, there was no elevation in hepatic Igf1 expression, suggesting that the anabolic bone phenotype was the result of increased local GH action. Mechanistic studies showed that in osteoblasts and bone of Socs2 −/− mice, STAT5 phosphorylation was significantly increased in response to GH. Conversely, overexpression of SOCS2 decreased GH-induced STAT5 signalling. Although an increase in Igf1 expression was observed in Socs2 −/− osteoblasts following GH, it was not evident in vivo. Igf1 expression levels were not elevated in response to GH in 4-week-old mice and no alterations in expression was observed in bone samples of 6-week-old Socs2 −/− mice. These studies emphasise the critical role of SOCS2 in controlling the local GH anabolic bone effects. We provide compelling evidence implicating SOCS2 in the regulation of GH osteoblast signalling and ultimately bone accrual, which maybe via mechanisms that are independent of IGF1 production in vivo.
In this issue of Journal of Endocrinology, Lanham et al. investigated the effects of hypothyroidism on the developing skeleton of the ovine foetus in utero. Their analyses indicated that, following thyroidectomy, bone growth, structure and mechanical properties were all altered at late gestation or at term. Adrenalectomy, whilst preventing the prepartum rise in triiodothyronine, did not modify skeletal development. The hypothyroid-mediated skeletal defects of the developing foetus described in this study may have clinical implications for bone health in later life.
V Sibilia, AE Rigamonti, F Pagani, N Lattuada, F Guidobono, WB Wehrenberg, EE Muller and C Netti
The effects of neonatal passive immunization against GHRH on bone was examined in male and female rats. Pups were treated subcutaneously with GHRH-antiserum (GHRH-Ab) from day 1 to day 10 of age. Bone mineral content (BMC) and bone mineral density (BMD) were evaluated at monthly intervals until 7 months. Markers of bone resorption (urinary lysylpyridinoline, LP), bone formation (serum osteocalcin, OC) and serum IGF-I were measured at 2, 3 and 7 months. In male rats, GHRH-Ab did not modify BMC and BMD when compared with controls. In contrast, female rats demonstrated lower whole body and femoral BMC and BMD from 2 to 7 months of age. Reduced bone growth in the females was associated with lower IGF-I levels than controls at 2 and 3 months of age, whereas in males IGF-I titers did not change during the period of the study. LP excretion was higher in GHRH-Ab-treated rats at 2 and 3 months in both sexes. In females, no difference in OC values was recorded, whereas in GHRH-Ab-treated males, there was an increase in OC levels at 2 and 3 months. These data indicate that transient GHRH deprivation induces an osteopenic effect in female rats which is not evident in male rats.