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Emin Umit Bagriacik, Melek Yaman, Rauf Haznedar, Gulsan Sucak and Tuncay Delibasi

osteoblast-like cells . Calcified Tissue International 74 486 – 491 . doi:10.1007/s00223-003-0108-3 . Whetsell M Bagriacik EU Seetharamaiah GS Prabhakar BS Klein JR 1999 Neuroendocrine-induced synthesis of bone marrow-derived cytokines

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M. Koutsilieris, S. A. Rabbani and D. Goltzman


We examined several characteristics of the mitogenic activity of extracts of human prostatic adenocarcinoma and human benign prostatic hyperplasia in fetal rat calvarial cells, cloned rat osteosarcoma cells and rat skin fibroblasts. Prostatic moieties produced maximal stimulation of [3H]thymidine incorporation at 24 h, were mitogenic in the absence or presence of various concentrations of serum, and were active in calvarial cells enriched with osteoblasts, skin fibroblasts and the cloned rat osteosarcoma cell line UMR 108. The known growth-promoting agents insulin, insulin-like growth factor, fibroblast growth factor, platelet-derived growth factor, epidermal growth factor, interleukin-1α and β and transforming growth factor β were also mitogenic in the indicator systems employed; however, maximally stimulating effects of these peptides in cells of the osteoblast phenotype were further enhanced with prostatic material. Prostatic activity was acid-stable and could be enriched with respect to osteoblast stimulation by hydrophobic and carboxymethyl ion-exchange chromatography. The results demonstrate the presence of potent mitogenic activity in hyperplastic and malignant prostatic tissue which appears to include unique osteoblast-stimulating activity.

J. Endocr. (1987) 115, 447–454

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J. Verhaeghe, A. M. H. Suiker, W. J. Visser, E. Van Herck, R. Van Bree and R. Bouillon


Spontaneously diabetic BB rats have a markedly depressed longitudinal bone growth and bone formation/turnover. In this study, male diabetic BB rats were infused intraperitoneally or subcutaneously for 2 weeks with hormones that are believed to stimulate skeletal growth and/or trabecular bone formation: insulin (3 or 4 U/day), human GH (hGH; 400 mU/day), recombinant human insulin-like growth factor-I (rhIGF-I; 300 or 600 μg/day) and testosterone (80 μg/100 g body weight per day).

Saline-treated diabetic BB rats had decreased plasma concentrations of IGF-I and osteocalcin (OC) (OC, 3·7 ±0·3 vs 13·1 ± 0·8 (s.e.m.) nmol/l in controls); bone histomorphometry showed decreased epiphyseal width, osteoblast surface (0·04±0·04 vs 1·5±0·3%) and osteoid surface, and mineral apposition rate (MAR) (1·8±0·5 vs 7·9±0·6 μm/day).

Testosterone and hGH infusions had no effect on weight loss or on decreased skeletal growth and bone formation of diabetic rats, nor did they increase plasma IGF-I concentrations. Insulin infusions into diabetic rats resulted in hyperinsulinaemia and accelerated weight gain. The epiphyseal width, osteoblast/osteoid surfaces and OC levels of insulin-treated rats were normalized or stimulated well above control values (osteoblast surface, 4·3 ±0·8%; plasma OC, 16·1 ± 1·4 nmol/l); the MAR (4·0 ± 0·9 μm/day) was only partly corrected after the 2-week infusion. Infusions of rhIGF-I into diabetic rats doubled but did not restore plasma IGF-I levels to normal; weight gain, however, was similar to that in control rats. IGF-I treatment had no effect on epiphyseal width, osteoblast/osteoid surfaces and OC concentrations, but improved the decreased MAR (4·6±1·2 μm/day).

These results indicate (1) that the decreased epiphyseal width and osteoblast recruitment of diabetic BB rats are directly related to their insulin deficiency, and (2) that IGF-I, administered systemically, corrects, in part, the decreased MAR in diabetes, suggesting a role in osteoblast function and/or mineralization.

Journal of Endocrinology (1992) 134, 485–492

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T. J. Chambers, N. A. Athanasou and K. Fuller


Osteoclasts, the major agents of bone resorption, were isolated from neonatal rat bone, and the cytoplasmic spreading of these cells was measured after incubation in the presence or absence of hormones or other cell types. Salmon calcitonin, which inhibits osteoclastic bone resorption, reduced spreading in a dose-dependent manner and caused significant inhibition at concentrations as low as 6·7 pg/ml. Parathyroid hormone (PTH) had no effect on the spreading of isolated osteoclasts but if osteoblasts and osteoclasts were co-cultured the addition of PTH caused a marked increase in spreading at concentrations of 0·025 i.u./ml and above. The results suggest that while calcitonin is a direct inhibitor of osteoclastic activity, PTH may stimulate osteoclasts through a primary action on osteoblasts.

J. Endocr. (1984) 102, 281–286

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H K Datta, H Rathod, P Manning, Y Turnbull and C J McNeil


We have shown that superoxide anion (O2) production by the osteoclast can be used as an index of the osteoclast activity since the agents that inhibit and stimulate the osteoclast also diminish and stimulate O2 production respectively. Therefore, we have investigated the mechanism of parathyroid hormone (PTH)-mediated stimulation of osteoclast function in terms of its effect on O2 generation. The determination of O2 generation was carried out by employing cytochrome c immobilised on a surface-modified gold electrode. The basal level of free radical production by the osteoblast-like cells (ROS 17/2·8) was 104-fold lower than by osteoclasts cultured on bone. PTH had no acute effect on free radical production by the osteoblasts. The exposure of the osteoclasts cultured on bone to PTH led to a dramatic and immediate stimulation of O2 generation which was unaffected by the presence of ROS 17/2·8 cells. The osteoclasts cocultured with ROS 17/2·8 cells and exposed to PTH for 3 h were also found to produce greater stimulation of O2 than the osteoclasts exposed to PTH alone. A competitive leukotriene D4 antagonist REV 5901, which also inhibits 5-lipoxygenase, did not block O2 generation by osteoclasts cultured alone or in the presence of osteoblasts. Therefore, we conclude that PTH directly stimulates osteoclasts to produce O2; this may be the main mode of activation of the osteoclasts, although an osteoblast-mediated effect of the hormone cannot be ruled out.

Journal of Endocrinology (1996) 149, 269–275

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RJ Byers, JA Hoyland and IP Braidman

Although it has been accepted that osteoporosis is common in women, only recently have we become aware that it is also widespread in men; one in twelve men in the UK have osteoporosis. In many cases, there are recognisable causes for their osteoporosis, but a significant proportion (approximately one third) of these men have idiopathic disease. A major problem is that these cases are difficult to treat. An important therapeutic strategy would be to identify men at risk from osteoporosis sufficiently early, so that they can begin preventative measures. Moreover, development of novel means of treating these men would be an important clinical advance. With the emphasis on osteoporosis in women, however, the cellular and molecular basis for male idiopathic osteoporosis (MIO) is still poorly understood. Nevertheless, there are some aspects of skeletal regulation which may be specific for men and which could form the basis for addressing these problems. Thus, the importance of oestrogen in maintaining the adult skeleton in men as well as women implies that bone cells in men can respond to low levels of the hormone. Both oestrogen receptor (ER) alpha and beta are expressed in bone in vivo, which may be important for oestrogen action on bone in men. Furthermore, in osteoporosis generally, there is increasing evidence for defective osteoblast differentiation such that there is a surfeit of adipocytes over osteoblasts. A low peak bone mass is a powerful risk factor for osteoporosis in later life; bone formation and, by implication, osteoblast differentiation, is key to the mechanism by which it is accrued. GH and IGFs are important for regulating osteoblast differentiation. Evidence now suggests that they are associated with bone mineral density, particularly in men. The genes for ERs, GH and IGF-I might be useful candidates with which we can begin to detect men at risk from osteoporosis. Furthermore, the mechanisms by which oestrogen, GH and IGF-I regulate the male skeleton could provide the basis for developing novel means of treating MIO.

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J. W. M. Chow, J. M. Lean, T. Abe and T. J. Chambers


We have previously demonstrated that administration of oestrogen, at doses sufficient to raise serum concentrations to those seen in late pregnancy, increases trabecular bone formation in the metaphysis of adult rats. To determine whether prostaglandins (PGs), which have been shown to induce osteogenesis in vivo, play a role in the induction of bone formation by oestrogen, 13-week-old female rats were given daily doses of 4 mg 17β-oestradiol (OE2)/kg for 17 days, alone or with indomethacin (1 mg/kg). The rats were also given double fluorochrome labels and at the end of the experiment tibias were subjected to histomorphometric assessment. Treatment with OE2 suppressed longitudinal bone growth and increased uterine wet weight, as expected, and neither response was affected by indomethacin. Oestrogen also induced a threefold increase in trabecular bone formation in the proximal tibial metaphysis, which resulted in a substantial increase in trabecular bone volume. As previously observed, the increase in bone formation was predominantly due to an increase in osteoblast recruitment (as judged by an increase in the percentage of bone surface showing double fluorochrome labels), with only a minor increase in the activity of mature osteoblasts (as judged by the mineral apposition rate). Indomethacin abolished the increase in osteoblastic recruitment, but the activity of mature osteoblastic cells remained high. The bone formation rate and bone volume remained similar to controls. The results suggest that PG production may be necessary for the increased osteoblastic recruitment induced by oestrogen, but not to mediate the effects of oestrogen on the activity of mature osteoblasts.

Journal of Endocrinology (1992) 133, 189–195

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KC Lee, H Jessop, R Suswillo, G Zaman and LE Lanyon

Postmenopausal osteoporosis represents a failure of the response by which bone cells adapt bone mass and architecture to be sufficiently strong to withstand loading without fracture. To address why this failure should be associated with oestrogen withdrawal, we investigated the ulna's adaptive response to mechanical loading in adult female mice lacking oestrogen receptor-alpha (ERalpha(-/-)), those lacking oestrogen receptor-beta (ERbeta(-/-)) and their wild-type littermates. In wild-type mice, short periods of physiologic cyclic compressive loading of the ulna in vivo over a 2-week period stimulates new bone formation. In ERalpha(-/-) and ERbeta(-/-) mice this osteogenic response was respectively threefold and twofold less (P<0.05). In vitro, primary cultures of osteoblast-like cells derived from these mice were subjected to a single short period of mechanical strain. Twenty-four hours after strain the number of wild-type cells was 61+/-25% higher than in unstrained controls (P<0.05), whereas in ERalpha(-/-) cells there was no strain-related increase in cell number. However, the strain-related response of ERalpha(-/-) cells could be partially rescued by transfection with functional human ERalpha (P<0.05). ERbeta(-/-) cells showed a 125+/-40% increase in cell number following strain. This was significantly greater than in wild types (P<0.05).These data support previous findings that functional ERalpha is required for the full osteogenic response to mechanical loading and particularly the stage of this response, which involves an increase in osteoblast number. ERbeta appears to depress the ERalpha-mediated strain-related increase in osteoblast number in vitro, but in female transgenic mice in vivo the constitutive absence of either ERalpha or ERbeta appears to diminish the osteogenic response to loading.

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J Cornish, KE Callon, U Bava, DH Coy, TB Mulvey, MA Murray, GJ Cooper, GJ Cooper and IR Reid

Adrenomedullin is a 52-amino acid peptide first described in a human phaeochromocytoma but since been found to be present in many tissues, including the vascular system and bone. Because of its structural similarity to amylin and calcitonin gene-related peptide, both of which have actions on bone cells, we have previously assessed the effects of adrenomedullin on the skeleton, and found that it increases osteoblast proliferation in vitro and bone formation following local injection in vivo. The present study carries this work forward by assessing the effects on bone of the systemic administration of a fragment of this peptide lacking the structural requirements for vasodilator activity. Two groups of 20 adult male mice received 20 injections of human adrenomedullin(27-52) 8.1 microg or vehicle over a 4-week period and bone histomorphometry and strength were assessed. In the tibia, adrenomedullin(27-52) produced increases in the indices of osteoblast activity, osteoid perimeter and osteoblast perimeter (P<0.05 for both using Student's t-test). Osteoclast perimeter was not affected. There was a 21% increase in cortical width and a 45% increase in trabecular bone volume in animals treated with adrenomedullin(27-52) (P<0.002 for both). Assessment of bone strength by three-point bending of the humerus showed both the maximal force and the displacement to the point of failure were increased in the animals treated with adrenomedullin(27-52) (P<0.03 for both). There was also a significant increase in the thickness of the epiphyseal growth plate. No adverse effects of the treatment were noted. It is concluded that adrenomedullin(27-52) acts as an anabolic agent on bone. These findings may be relevant to the normal regulation of bone mass and to the design of agents for the treatment of osteoporosis.

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CH Kim, HK Kim, YK Shong, KU Lee and GS Kim

It is well known that excessive thyroid hormone in the body is associated with bone loss. However, the mechanism by which thyroid hormone affects bone turnover remains unclear. It has been shown that it stimulates osteoclastic bone resorption indirectly via unknown mediators secreted by osteoblasts. To determine if interleukin-6 (IL-6) or interleukin-11 (IL-11) could be the mediator(s) of thyroid hormone-induced bone loss, we studied the effects of 3,5,3'-tri-iodothyronine (T3) on basal and interleukin-1 (IL-1)-stimulated IL-6/IL-11 production in primary cultured human bone marrow stromal cells. T3 at 10(-12)-10(-8) M concentration significantly increased basal IL-6 production in a dose-dependent manner. It also had an additive effect on IL-1-stimulated IL-6 production, but failed to elicit a detectable effect on basal or IL-1-stimulated IL-11 production. Treatment with 17beta-estradiol (10(-8) M) did not affect the action of T3 on IL-6/IL-11 production. These results suggest that thyroid hormone may stimulate bone resorption by increasing basal and IL-1-induced IL-6 production from osteoblast-lineage cells, and these effects are independent of estrogen status.