Purpose: Mechanical stress is known to be important for regulation of bone turnover, though the detailed mechanisms are not fully understood. In the present study, we examined the effect of mechanical stress on osteoblasts using a novel compression model.
Materials and methods: Mouse osteoblastic MC3T3-E1 cells were embedded in 3-D gels and cultured with continuous compressive force for 48 h, and the conditioned medium were collected. RAW264.7 cells were then incubated with the conditioned medium for various times in the presence of receptor activator of nuclear factor-kB ligand (RANKL).
Results: Conditioned medium was found to inhibit the differentiation of RAW264.7 cells into osteoclasts induced by RANKL via down-regulation of the expression of tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated factor 6 (TRAF6), phosphorylation of IkBa, and nuclear translocation of p50 and p65. Interestingly, the conditioned medium also had a high level of binding activity to RANKL and blocked the binding of RANK to RANKL. Furthermore, the binding activity of conditioned medium to RANKL was reduced when the 3-D gel was supplemented with KN-93, an inhibitor of non-canonical Wnt/Ca 2+ pathway. In addition, expression level of osteoprotegerin (OPG) mRNA was increased in time- and force-dependent manners, and remarkably suppressed by KN-93.
Conclusion: These results indicate that osteoblastic cells subjected to mechanical stress produce OPG, which binds to RANKL. Furthermore, this binding activity strongly inhibited osteoclastogenesis through suppression of TRAF6 and the nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-kB) signaling pathway, suggesting that enhancement of OPG expression induced by mechanical stress is dependent on non-canonical Wnt/Ca 2+ pathway.
Conflict of interest: None declared.