Inhibition of osteoclastogenesis by mechanically loaded osteocytes: involvement of MEPE

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    In regions of high bone loading, the mechanoresponsive osteocytes inhibit osteoclastic bone resorption by producing signaling molecules. One possible candidate is matrix extracellular phosphoglycoprotein (MEPE) because acidic serine- and aspartate-rich MEPE-associated motif peptides upregulate osteoprotegerin (OPG) gene expression, a negative regulator of osteoclastogenesis. These peptides are cleaved from MEPE when relatively more MEPE than PHEX (phosphate-regulating gene with homology to endopeptidases on the X chromosome) is present. We investigated whether mechanical loading of osteocytes affects osteocyte-stimulated osteoclastogenesis by involvement of MEPE. MLO-Y4 osteocytes were mechanically loaded by 1-h pulsating fluid flow (PFF; 0.7 ± 0.3 Pa, 5 Hz) or kept under static control conditions. Recombinant MEPE (0.05, 0.5, or 5 μg/ml) was added to some static cultures. Mouse bone marrow cells were seeded on top of the osteocytes to determine osteoclastogenesis. Gene expression of MEPE, PHEX, receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa-B ligand (RANKL), and OPG by osteocytes was determined after PFF. Osteocytes supported osteoclast formation under static control conditions. Both PFF and recombinant MEPE inhibited osteocyte-stimulated osteoclastogenesis. PFF upregulated MEPE gene expression by 2.5-fold, but not PHEX expression. PFF decreased the RANKL/OPG ratio at 1-h PFF treatment. Our data suggest that mechanical loading induces changes in gene expression by osteocytes, which likely contributes to the inhibition of osteoclastogenesis after mechanical loading of bone. Because mechanical loading upregulated gene expression of MEPE but not PHEX, possibly resulting in the upregulation of OPG gene expression, we speculate that MEPE is a soluble factor involved in the inhibition of osteoclastogenesis by osteocytes.
    Original languageUndefined/Unknown
    Pages (from-to)461-468
    JournalCalcified Tissue International
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 2010

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