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Osteocyte Network; a Negative Regulatory System for Bone Mass Augmented by the Induction of Rankl in Osteoblasts and Sost in Osteocytes at Unloading  [PDF]
Takeshi Moriishi, Ryo Fukuyama, Masako Ito, Toshihiro Miyazaki, Takafumi Maeno, Yosuke Kawai, Hisato Komori, Toshihisa Komori
PLOS ONE , 2012, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0040143
Abstract: Reduced mechanical stress is a major cause of osteoporosis in the elderly, and the osteocyte network, which comprises a communication system through processes and canaliculi throughout bone, is thought to be a mechanosensor and mechanotransduction system; however, the functions of osteocytes are still controversial and remain to be clarified. Unexpectedly, we found that overexpression of BCL2 in osteoblasts eventually caused osteocyte apoptosis. Osteoblast and osteoclast differentiation were unaffected by BCL2 transgene in vitro. However, the cortical bone mass increased due to enhanced osteoblast function and suppressed osteoclastogenesis at 4 months of age, when the frequency of TUNEL-positive lacunae reached 75%. In the unloaded condition, the trabecular bone mass decreased in both wild-type and BCL2 transgenic mice at 6 weeks of age, while it decreased due to impaired osteoblast function and enhanced osteoclastogenesis in wild-type mice but not in BCL2 transgenic mice at 4 months of age. Rankl and Opg were highly expressed in osteocytes, but Rankl expression in osteoblasts but not in osteocytes was increased at unloading in wild-type mice but not in BCL2 transgenic mice at 4 months of age. Sost was locally induced at unloading in wild-type mice but not in BCL2 transgenic mice, and the dissemination of Sost was severely interrupted in BCL2 transgenic mice, showing the severely impaired osteocyte network. These findings indicate that the osteocyte network is required for the upregulation of Rankl in osteoblasts and Sost in osteocytes in the unloaded condition. These findings suggest that the osteocyte network negatively regulate bone mass by inhibiting osteoblast function and activating osteoclastogenesis, and these functions are augmented in the unloaded condition at least partly through the upregulation of Rankl expression in osteoblasts and that of Sost in osteocytes, although it cannot be excluded that low BCL2 transgene expression in osteoblasts contributed to the enhanced osteoblast function.
Phenotypic Characterization of Osteoarthritic Osteocytes from the Sclerotic Zones: A Possible Pathological Role in Subchondral Bone Sclerosis
Anjali Jaiprakash, Indira Prasadam, Jian Q. Feng, Ying Liu, Ross Crawford, Yin Xiao
International Journal of Biological Sciences , 2012,
Abstract: Subchondral bone sclerosis is a well-recognised manifestation of osteoarthritis (OA). The osteocyte cell network is now considered to be central to the regulation of bone homeostasis; however, it is not known whether the integrity of the osteocyte cell network is altered in OA patients. The aim of this study was to investigate OA osteocyte phenotypic changes and its potential role in OA subchondral bone pathogenesis. The morphological and phenotypic changes of osteocytes in OA samples were investigated by micro-CT, SEM, histology, immunohistochemistry, TRAP staining, apoptosis assay and real-time PCR studies. We demonstrated that in OA subchondral bone, the osteocyte morphology was altered showing rough and rounded cell body with fewer and disorganized dendrites compared with the osteocytes in control samples. OA osteocyte also showed dysregulated expression of osteocyte markers, apoptosis, and degradative enzymes, indicating that the phenotypical changes in OA osteocytes were accompanied with OA subchondral bone remodelling (increased osteoblast and osteoclast activity) and increased bone volume with altered mineral content. Significant alteration of osteocytes identified in OA samples indicates a potential regulatory role of osteocytes in subchondral bone remodelling and mineral metabolism during OA pathogenesis.
Osteocytes as a record of bone formation dynamics: A mathematical model of osteocyte generation in bone matrix  [PDF]
Pascal R Buenzli
Quantitative Biology , 2014, DOI: 10.1016/j.jtbi.2014.09.028
Abstract: The formation of new bone involves both the deposition of bone matrix, and the formation of a network of cells embedded within the bone matrix, called osteocytes. Osteocytes derive from bone-synthesising cells (osteoblasts) that become buried in bone matrix during bone deposition. The generation of osteocytes is a complex process that remains incompletely understood. Whilst osteoblast burial determines the density of osteocytes, the expanding network of osteocytes regulates in turn osteoblast activity and osteoblast burial. In this paper, a spatiotemporal continuous model is proposed to investigate the osteoblast-to-osteocyte transition. The aims of the model are (i) to link dynamic properties of osteocyte generation with properties of the osteocyte network imprinted in bone, and (ii) to investigate Marotti's hypothesis that osteocytes prompt the burial of osteoblasts when they become covered with sufficient bone matrix. Osteocyte density is assumed in the model to be generated at the moving bone surface by a combination of osteoblast density, matrix secretory rate, rate of entrapment, and curvature of the bone substrate, but is found to be determined solely by the ratio of the instantaneous burial rate and matrix secretory rate. Osteocyte density does not explicitly depend on osteoblast density nor curvature. Osteocyte apoptosis is also included to distinguish between the density of osteocyte lacuna and the density of live osteocytes. Experimental measurements of osteocyte lacuna densities are used to estimate the rate of burial of osteoblasts in bone matrix. These results suggest that: (i) burial rate decreases during osteonal infilling, and (ii) the control of osteoblast burial by osteocytes is likely to emanate as a collective signal from a large group of osteocytes, rather than from the osteocytes closest to the bone deposition front.
Towards a cell-based mechanostat theory of bone: the need to account for osteocyte desensitisation and osteocyte replacement  [PDF]
C. Lerebours,P. R. Buenzli
Quantitative Biology , 2015,
Abstract: Bone's mechanostat theory describes the adaptation of bone tissues to their mechanical environment. Many experiments have investigated and observed such structural adaptation. However, there is still much uncertainty about the existence of a well-defined reference mechanical state at which bone structure is adapted and stable. The dynamic nature of bone tissues and wide range of timescales at which mechanical adaptation is observed clinically and experimentally make it difficult to define such a reference state. We propose here a mechanostat theory that takes into account the cellular origin of bone's mechanosensitivity. This theory includes (i) a cell-specific reference state that enables mechanosensing cells to gauge a mechanical stimulus and to respond to it; (ii) a rapid, but partial desensitisation of the mechanosensing cells to the mechanical stimulus; and (iii) the replacement of the mechanosensing cells during bone remodelling, which resets the cell-specific reference state. The cell-specific reference state we propose is assumed to be encoded in the cells during their formation. It provides a long-lasting memory of the current mechanical stimulus gradually reset by bone remodelling. We test this theory by simulating long-term mechanical disuse (modelling spinal cord injury), and short-term mechanical loadings (modelling daily exercises) with a mathematical model. Our proposed cell-based mechanostat theory gives a cellular interpretation of the different phenomena and timescales occurring during the mechanical adaptation of bone tissues. The consideration of osteocyte desensitisation and osteocyte replacement enables to resolve several shortcomings of the standard mechanostat theory.
Synchrotron Ultraviolet Microspectroscopy on Rat Cortical Bone: Involvement of Tyrosine and Tryptophan in the Osteocyte and Its Environment  [PDF]
Stéphane Pallu, Gael Y. Rochefort, Christelle Jaffre, Matthieu Refregiers, Delphine B. Maurel, Delphine Benaitreau, Eric Lespessailles, Frédéric Jamme, Christine Chappard, Claude-Laurent Benhamou
PLOS ONE , 2012, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0043930
Abstract: Alcohol induced osteoporosis is characterized by a bone mass decrease and microarchitecture alterations. Having observed an excess in osteocyte apoptosis, we aimed to assess the bone tissue biochemistry, particularly in the osteocyte and its environment. For this purpose, we used a model of alcohol induced osteoporosis in rats. Bone sections of cortical bone were investigated using synchrotron UV-microspectrofluorescence at subcellular resolution. We show that bone present three fluorescence peaks at 305, 333 and 385 nm, respectively corresponding to tyrosine, tryptophan and collagen. We have determined that tyrosine/collagen and tryptophan/collagen ratios were higher in the strong alcohol consumption group. Tryptophan is related to the serotonin metabolism involved in bone formation, while tyrosine is involved in the activity of tyrosine kinases and phosphatases in osteocytes. Our experiment represents the first combined synchrotron UV microspectroscopy analysis of bone tissue with a quantitative biochemical characterization in the osteocyte and surrounding matrix performed separately.
Mechanical loading and how it affects bone cells: The role of the osteocyte cytoskeleton in maintaining our skeleton  [PDF]
J Klein-Nulend,RG Bacabac,AD Bakker
European Cells and Materials (ECM) , 2012,
Abstract: Lack of physical activity causes bone loss and fractures not only in elderly people, but also in bedridden patients or otherwise inactive youth. This is fast becoming one of the most serious healthcare problems in the world. Osteocytes, cells buried within our bones, stimulate bone formation in the presence of mechanical stimuli, as well as bone degradation in the absence of such stimuli. As yet, we do not fully comprehend how osteocytes sense mechanical stimuli, and only know a fraction of the whole range of molecules that osteocytes subsequently produce to regulate bone formation and degradation in response to mechanical stimuli. This dramatically hampers the design of bone loss prevention strategies. In this review we will focus on the first step in the cascade of events leading to adaptation of bone mass to mechanical loading, i.e., on how osteocytes are able to perceive mechanical stimuli placed on whole bones. We will place particular emphasis on the role of the osteocyte cytoskeleton in mechanosensing. Given the crucial importance of osteocytes in maintaining a proper resistance against bone fracture, greater knowledge of the molecular mechanisms that govern the adaptive response of osteocytes to mechanical stimuli may lead to the development of new strategies towards fracture prevention and enhanced bone healing.
Alterations of Mass Density and 3D Osteocyte Lacunar Properties in Bisphosphonate-Related Osteonecrotic Human Jaw Bone, a Synchrotron μCT Study  [PDF]
Bernhard Hesse, Max Langer, Peter Varga, Alexandra Pacureanu, Pei Dong, Susanne Schrof, Nils M?nnicke, Heikki Suhonen, Cecile Olivier, Peter Maurer, Galateia J. Kazakia, Kay Raum, Francoise Peyrin
PLOS ONE , 2014, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0088481
Abstract: Osteonecrosis of the jaw, in association with bisphosphonates (BRONJ) used for treating osteoporosis or cancer, is a severe and most often irreversible side effect whose underlying pathophysiological mechanisms remain largely unknown. Osteocytes are involved in bone remodeling and mineralization where they orchestrate the delicate equilibrium between osteoclast and osteoblast activity and through the active process called osteocytic osteolysis. Here, we hypothesized that (i) changes of the mineralized tissue matrix play a substantial role in the pathogenesis of BRONJ, and (ii) the osteocyte lacunar morphology is altered in BRONJ. Synchrotron μCT with phase contrast is an appropriate tool for assessing both the 3D morphology of the osteocyte lacunae and the bone matrix mass density. Here, we used this technique to investigate the mass density distribution and 3D osteocyte lacunar properties at the sub-micrometer scale in human bone samples from the jaw, femur and tibia. First, we compared healthy human jaw bone to human tibia and femur in order to assess the specific differences and address potential explanations of why the jaw bone is exclusively targeted by the necrosis as a side effect of BP treatment. Second, we investigated the differences between BRONJ and control jaw bone samples to detect potential differences which could aid an improved understanding of the course of BRONJ. We found that the apparent mass density of jaw bone was significantly smaller compared to that of tibia, consistent with a higher bone turnover in the jaw bone. The variance of the lacunar volume distribution was significantly different depending on the anatomical site. The comparison between BRONJ and control jaw specimens revealed no significant increase in mineralization after BP. We found a significant decrease in osteocyte-lacunar density in the BRONJ group compared to the control jaw. Interestingly, the osteocyte-lacunar volume distribution was not altered after BP treatment.
Preliminary Analysis of Osteocyte Lacunar Density in Long Bones of Tetrapods: All Measures Are Bigger in Sauropod Dinosaurs  [PDF]
Koen W. H. Stein, Jan Werner
PLOS ONE , 2013, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0077109
Abstract: Osteocytes harbour much potential for paleobiological studies. Synchrotron radiation and spectroscopic analyses are providing fascinating data on osteocyte density, size and orientation in fossil taxa. However, such studies may be costly and time consuming. Here we describe an uncomplicated and inexpensive method to measure osteocyte lacunar densities in bone thin sections. We report on cell lacunar densities in the long bones of various extant and extinct tetrapods, with a focus on sauropodomorph dinosaurs, and how lacunar densities can help us understand bone formation rates in the iconic sauropod dinosaurs. Ordinary least square and phylogenetic generalized least square regressions suggest that sauropodomorphs have lacunar densities higher than scaled up or comparably sized mammals. We also found normal mammalian-like osteocyte densities for the extinct bovid Myotragus, questioning its crocodilian-like physiology. When accounting for body mass effects and phylogeny, growth rates are a main factor determining the density of the lacunocanalicular network. However, functional aspects most likely play an important role as well. Observed differences in cell strategies between mammals and dinosaurs likely illustrate the convergent nature of fast growing bone tissues in these groups.
Bone Health in Patients with Multiple Sclerosis  [PDF]
Vit Zikan
Journal of Osteoporosis , 2011, DOI: 10.4061/2011/596294
Abstract: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a gait disorder characterized by acute episodes of neurological defects leading to progressive disability. Patients with MS have multiple risk factors for osteoporotic fractures, such as progressive immobilization, long-term glucocorticoids (GCs) treatment or vitamin D deficiency. The duration of motor disability appears to be a major contributor to the reduction of bone strength. The long term immobilization causes a marked imbalance between bone formation and resorption with depressed bone formation and a marked disruption of mechanosensory network of tightly connected osteocytes due to increase of osteocyte apoptosis. Patients with higher level of disability have also higher risk of falls that combined with a bone loss increases the frequency of bone fractures. There are currently no recommendations how to best prevent and treat osteoporosis in patients with MS. However, devastating effect of immobilization on the skeleton in patients with MS underscores the importance of adequate mechanical stimuli for maintaining the bone structure and its mechanical competence. The physical as well as pharmacological interventions which can counteract the bone remodeling imbalance, particularly osteocyte apoptosis, will be promising for prevention and treatment of osteoporosis in patients with MS.
Skeletal Adaptation to Intramedullary Pressure-Induced Interstitial Fluid Flow Is Enhanced in Mice Subjected to Targeted Osteocyte Ablation  [PDF]
Ronald Y. Kwon, Diana R. Meays, Alexander S. Meilan, Jeremiah Jones, Rosa Miramontes, Natalie Kardos, Jiunn-Chern Yeh, John A. Frangos
PLOS ONE , 2012, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0033336
Abstract: Interstitial fluid flow (IFF) is a potent regulatory signal in bone. During mechanical loading, IFF is generated through two distinct mechanisms that result in spatially distinct flow profiles: poroelastic interactions within the lacunar-canalicular system, and intramedullary pressurization. While the former generates IFF primarily within the lacunar-canalicular network, the latter generates significant flow at the endosteal surface as well as within the tissue. This gives rise to the intriguing possibility that loading-induced IFF may differentially activate osteocytes or surface-residing cells depending on the generating mechanism, and that sensation of IFF generated via intramedullary pressurization may be mediated by a non-osteocytic bone cell population. To begin to explore this possibility, we used the Dmp1-HBEGF inducible osteocyte ablation mouse model and a microfluidic system for modulating intramedullary pressure (ImP) to assess whether structural adaptation to ImP-driven IFF is altered by partial osteocyte depletion. Canalicular convective velocities during pressurization were estimated through the use of fluorescence recovery after photobleaching and computational modeling. Following osteocyte ablation, transgenic mice exhibited severe losses in bone structure and altered responses to hindlimb suspension in a compartment-specific manner. In pressure-loaded limbs, transgenic mice displayed similar or significantly enhanced structural adaptation to Imp-driven IFF, particularly in the trabecular compartment, despite up to ~50% of trabecular lacunae being uninhabited following ablation. Interestingly, regression analysis revealed relative gains in bone structure in pressure-loaded limbs were correlated with reductions in bone structure in unpressurized control limbs, suggesting that adaptation to ImP-driven IFF was potentiated by increases in osteoclastic activity and/or reductions in osteoblastic activity incurred independently of pressure loading. Collectively, these studies indicate that structural adaptation to ImP-driven IFF can proceed unimpeded following a significant depletion in osteocytes, consistent with the potential existence of a non-osteocytic bone cell population that senses ImP-driven IFF independently and potentially parallel to osteocytic sensation of poroelasticity-derived IFF.
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