Rapamycin inhibits osteoblast proliferation and differentiation in MC3T3-E1 cells and primary mouse bone marrow stromal cells.
ABSTRACT While the roles of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling in regulation of cell growth, proliferation, and survival have been well documented in various cell types, its actions in osteoblasts are poorly understood. In this study, we determined the effects of rapamycin, a specific inhibitor of mTOR, on osteoblast proliferation and differentiation using MC3T3-E1 preosteoblastic cells (MC-4) and primary mouse bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs). Rapamycin significantly inhibited proliferation in both MC-4 cells and BMSCs at a concentration as low as 0.1 nM. Western blot analysis shows that rapamycin treatment markedly reduced levels of cyclin A and D1 protein in both cell types. In differentiating osteoblasts, rapamycin dramatically reduced osteoblast-specific osteocalcin (Ocn), bone sialoprotein (Bsp), and osterix (Osx) mRNA expression, ALP activity, and mineralization capacity. However, the drug treatment had no effect on osteoblast differentiation parameters when the cells were completely differentiated. Importantly, rapamycin markedly reduced levels of Runx2 protein in both proliferating and differentiating but not differentiated osteoblasts. Finally, overexpression of S6K in COS-7 cells significantly increased levels of Runx2 protein and Runx2 activity. Taken together, our studies demonstrate that mTOR signaling affects osteoblast functions by targeting osteoblast proliferation and the early stage of osteoblast differentiation.
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ABSTRACT: Rapamycin is an effective immunosuppressant widely used to maintain the renal allograft in pediatric patients. Linear growth may be adversely affected in young children since rapamycin has potent anti-proliferative and anti-angiogenic properties. Weanling three week old rats were given rapamycin at 2.5 mg/kg daily by gavage for 2 or 4 weeks and compared to a Control group given equivalent amount of saline. Morphometric measurements and biochemical determinations for serum calcium, phosphate, iPTH, urea nitrogen, creatinine and insulin-growth factor I (IGF-I) were obtained. Histomorphometric analysis of the growth plate cartilage, in-situ hybridization experiments and immunohistochemical studies for various proteins were performed to evaluate for chondrocyte proliferation, chondrocyte differentiation and chondro/osteoclastic resorption. At the end of the 2 weeks, body and tibia length measurements were shorter after rapamycin therapy associated with an enlargement of the hypertrophic zone in the growth plate cartilage. There was a decrease in chondrocyte proliferation assessed by histone-4 and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) expression. A reduction in parathyroid hormone/parathyroid hormone related peptide (PTH/PTHrP) and an increase in Indian hedgehog (Ihh) expression may explain in part, the increase number of hypertrophic chondrocytes. The number of TRAP positive multinucleated chondro/osteoclasts declined in the chondro-osseous junction with a decrease in the receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa beta ligand (RANKL) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression. Although body and tibial length remained short after 4 weeks of rapamycin, changes in the expression of chondrocyte proliferation, chondrocyte differentiation and chondro/osteoclastic resorption which were significant after 2 weeks of rapamycin improved at the end of 4 weeks. When given to young rats, 2 weeks of rapamycin significantly decreased endochondral bone growth. No catch-up growth was demonstrated at the end of 4 weeks, although markers of chondrocyte proliferation and differentiation improved. Clinical studies need to be done to evaluate these changes in growing children.BMC Pediatrics 02/2009; 9:3. · 1.88 Impact Factor