Sphingosine 1-phosphate receptor activation enhances BMP-2-induced osteoblast differentiation.
ABSTRACT We previously demonstrated that sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) receptor-mediated signaling induced proliferation and prostaglandin productions by synovial cells from rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients. In the present study we investigated the role of S1P receptor-mediated signaling for osteoblast differentiation. We investigated osteoblast differentiation using C2C12 myoblasts, a cell line derived from murine satellite cells. Osteoblast differentiation was induced by the treatment of bone morphogenic protein (BMP)-2 in the presence or absence of either S1P or FTY720 (FTY), a high-affinity agonist of S1P receptors. Osteoblast differentiation was determined by osteoblast-specific transcription factor, Runx2 mRNA expression, alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity and osteocalcin production by the cells. Smad1/5/8 and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) 1/2 phosphorylation was examined by Western blotting. Osteocalcin production by C2C12 cells were determined by ELISA. Runx2 expression and ALP activity by BMP-2-stimulated C2C12 cells were enhanced by addition of either S1P or FTY. Both S1P and FTY enhanced BMP-2-induced ERK1/2 and Smad1/5/8 phosphorylation. The effect of FTY was stronger than that of S1P. S1P receptor-mediated signaling on osteoblast differentiation was inhibited by addition of mitogen-activated protein kinase/ERK kinase (MEK) 1/2 inhibitor, indicating that the S1P receptor-mediated MEK1/2-ERK1/2 signaling pathway enhanced BMP-2-Smad signaling. These results indicate that S1P receptor-mediated signaling plays a crucial role for osteoblast differentiation.