Lysophosphatidic acid: A potential mediator of osteoblast-osteoclast signaling in bone.
ABSTRACT Osteoclasts (bone resorbing cells) and osteoblasts (bone forming cells) play essential roles in skeletal development, mineral homeostasis and bone remodeling. The actions of these two cell types are tightly coordinated, and imbalances in bone formation and resorption can result in disease states, such as osteoporosis. Lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) is a potent bioactive phospholipid that influences a number of cellular processes, including proliferation, survival and migration. LPA is also involved in wound healing and pathological conditions, such as tumor metastasis and autoimmune disorders. During trauma, activated platelets are likely a source of LPA in bone. Physiologically, osteoblasts themselves can also produce LPA, which in turn promotes osteogenesis. The capacity for local production of LPA, coupled with the proximity of osteoblasts and osteoclasts, leads to the intriguing possibility that LPA acts as a paracrine mediator of osteoblast-osteoclast signaling. Here we summarize emerging evidence that LPA enhances the differentiation of osteoclast precursors, and regulates the morphology, resorptive activity and survival of mature osteoclasts. These actions arise through stimulation of multiple LPA receptors and intracellular signaling pathways. Moreover, LPA is a potent mitogen implicated in promoting the metastasis of breast and ovarian tumors to bone. Thus, LPA released from osteoblasts is potentially an important autocrine and paracrine mediator - physiologically regulating skeletal development and remodeling, while contributing pathologically to metastatic bone disease. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Advances in Lysophospholipid Research.