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Effects of continuous activation of vitamin D and Wnt response pathways on osteoblastic proliferation and differentiation


The Wnt pathway regulates cell proliferation and differentiation in development and disease, with a number of recent reports linking Wnt to control of osteoblast differentiation and bone mass. There is also accumulating evidence for interaction between the Wnt and nuclear receptor (NR)-mediated control pathways in non-osseous tissues. Calcitriol (1,25D(3)), which is the active hormonal ligand for the vitamin D receptor (VDR), a member of the NR superfamily, induces osteoblastic cell cycle arrest and expression of genes involved in matrix mineralization in vitro, with over-expression of VDR in mature osteoblasts increasing bone mass in mice. To determine whether the vitamin D and Wnt control pathways interact in osteoblastic regulation, we investigated the treatment effects of 1,25D(3) and/or lithium chloride (LiCl), which mimics canonical Wnt pathway activation, on osteoblast proliferation and differentiation. Treatments were initiated at various stages in differentiating cultures of the MC3T3-E1 osteoprogenitor cell line. Treatment of subconfluent cultures (day 1) with either agent transiently increased cell proliferation but decreased viable cell number, with additive inhibition after combined treatment. Interestingly, although early response patterns of alkaline phosphatase activity to 1,25D(3) and LiCl were opposite, mineralized nodule formation was virtually abolished by either treatment initiated at day 1 and remained very low after initiating treatments at matrix-formation stage (day 6). By contrast, mineralized nodule formation was substantial but reduced if 1,25D(3) and/or LiCl treatment was initiated at mineralization onset (day 13). Osteocalcin production was reduced by all treatments at all time points. Thus, vitamin D and/or canonical Wnt pathway activation markedly reduced mineralization, with additive inhibitory effects on viable cell number. The strength of the response was dependent on the stage of differentiation at treatment initiation. Importantly, the inhibitory effect of LiCl in this committed osteoblastic cell line contrasts with the stimulatory effects of genetic Wnt pathway activation in human and mouse bone tissue. This is consistent with the anabolic Wnt response occurring at a stage prior to the mature osteoprogenitor in the intact skeleton and suggests that prolonged or repeated activation of the canonical Wnt response in committed cells may have an inhibitory effect on osteoblast differentiation and function.

Type Journal
ISBN 8756-3282 (Print)
Authors Shi, Y. C.;Worton, L.;Esteban, L.;Baldock, P.;Fong, C.;Eisman, J. A.;Gardiner, E. M. :
Responsible Garvan Author A/Prof Paul Baldock
Publisher Name BONE
Published Date 2007-01-01
Published Volume 41
Published Issue 1
Published Pages 87-96
Status Published in-print
URL link to publisher's version
OpenAccess link to author's accepted manuscript version