Biomineralisation, the deposition of mineral onto a matrix, can be both a physiological and pathological process. Bone formation involves the secretion of an extracellular matrix (ECM) by osteoblasts and subsequent mineralisation of that matrix. It is regulated by a number of local and systemic factors and is necessary for maintenance of normal bone health. Conversely, mineralisation (or calcification) of soft tissues, including the vasculature, is detrimental to that tissue, leading to diseases such as arterial medial calcification (AMC). The mechanisms underlying AMC development are not fully defined, though it is thought that vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) drive this complex, cell-mediated process. Similarly, AMC is regulated by a variety of enzymes and molecules, many of which have already been implicated in the regulation of bone mineralisation. This review will provide an overview of the similar, and sometimes opposing effects of these signalling molecules on the regulation of bone mineralisation and AMC.
Lucie E Bourne, Caroline P Wheeler-Jones, and Isabel R Orriss
Isabel R Orriss, Dilek Guneri, Mark O R Hajjawi, Kristy Shaw, Jessal J Patel, and Timothy R Arnett
Bone cells constitutively release ATP into the extracellular environment where it acts locally via P2 receptors to regulate bone cell function. Whilst P2Y2 receptor stimulation regulates bone mineralisation, the functional effects of this receptor in osteoclasts remain unknown. This investigation used the P2Y2 receptor knockout (P2Y2R−/−) mouse model to investigate the role of this receptor in bone. MicroCT analysis of P2Y2R−/− mice demonstrated age-related increases in trabecular bone volume (≤48%), number (≤30%) and thickness (≤17%). In vitro P2Y2R−/− osteoblasts displayed a 3-fold increase in bone formation and alkaline phosphatase activity, whilst P2Y2R−/− osteoclasts exhibited a 65% reduction in resorptive activity. Serum cross-linked C-telopeptide levels (CTX, resorption marker) were also decreased (≤35%). The resorption defect in P2Y2R−/− osteoclasts was rescued by the addition of exogenous ATP, suggesting that an ATP deficit could be a key factor in the reduced function of these cells. In agreement, we found that basal ATP release was reduced up to 53% in P2Y2R−/− osteoclasts. The P2Y2 receptor agonists, UTP and 2-thioUTP, increased osteoclast activity and ATP release in wild-type but not in P2Y2R−/− cells. This indicates that the P2Y2 receptor may regulate osteoclast function indirectly by promoting ATP release. UTP and 2-thioUTP also stimulate ATP release from osteoblasts suggesting that the P2Y2 receptor exerts a similar function in these cells. Taken together, our findings are consistent with the notion that the primary action of P2Y2 receptor signalling in bone is to regulate extracellular ATP levels.