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1.  Comprehensive profiling analysis of actively resorbing osteoclasts identifies critical signaling pathways regulated by bone substrate 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:7595.
As the only cells capable of efficiently resorbing bone, osteoclasts are central mediators of both normal bone remodeling and pathologies associates with excessive bone resorption. However, despite the clear evidence of interplay between osteoclasts and the bone surface in vivo, the role of the bone substrate in regulating osteoclast differentiation and activation at a molecular level has not been fully defined. Here, we present the first comprehensive expression profiles of osteoclasts differentiated on authentic resorbable bone substrates. This analysis has identified numerous critical pathways coordinately regulated by osteoclastogenic cytokines and bone substrate, including the transition from proliferation to differentiation, and sphingosine-1-phosphate signaling. Whilst, as expected, much of this program is dependent upon integrin beta 3, the pre-eminent mediator of osteoclast-bone interaction, a surprisingly significant portion of the bone substrate regulated expression signature is independent of this receptor. Together, these findings identify an important hitherto underappreciated role for bone substrate in osteoclastogenesis.
PMCID: PMC4274512  PMID: 25534583
2.  Dexamethasone Increases αvβ3 Integrin Expression and Affinity through a Calcineurin/NFAT Pathway 
Biochimica et biophysica acta  2013;1833(12):10.1016/j.bbamcr.2013.09.020.
The purpose of this study was to determine how dexamethasone (DEX) regulates the expression and activity of αvβ3 integrin. FACS analysis showed that DEX treatment induced expression of an activated αvβ3 integrin. Its expression remained high as long as DEX was present and continued following DEX removal. FACS analysis showed that the upregulation of αvβ3 integrin was the result of an increase in the expression of the β3 integrin subunit. By real time qPCR, DEX treatment induced a 6.2-fold increase (p<0.04) in β3 integrin mRNA by day 2 compared to control and remained elevated for 6 days of treatment and then an additional 10 days once the DEX was removed. The increase in β3 integrin mRNA levels required only 1 day of DEX treatment to increase levels for 4 days in the absence of DEX. In contrast, DEX did not alter β1 integrin mRNA or protein levels. The DEX-induced upregulation of β3 integrin mRNA was partly due to an increase in its half-life to 60.7 h from 22.5 h in control cultures (p<0.05) and could be inhibited by RU486 and cycloheximide, suggesting that DEX-induced de novo protein synthesis of an activation factor was needed. The calcineurin inhibitors cyclosporin A (CsA) and FK506 inhibited the DEX induced increase in β3 integrin mRNA. In summary, the DEX-induced increase in β3 integrin is a secondary glucocorticoid response that results in prolonged expression of αvβ3 integrin and the upregulation of the β3 integrin subunit through the calcineurin/NFAT pathway.
PMCID: PMC3864090  PMID: 24100160
cytoskeleton; integrin; calcineurin; glucocorticoids; glaucoma; trabecular meshwork
3.  The immunoreceptor tyrosine-based activation motif (ITAM) -related factors are increased in synovial tissue and vasculature of rheumatoid arthritic joints 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2012;14(6):R245.
The immunoreceptor tyrosine-based activation motif (ITAM) pathway provides osteoclast co-stimulatory signals and regulates proliferation, survival and differentiation of effector immune cells. In the osteoclast, the receptors Triggering Receptor Expressed on Myeloid cells 2 (TREM2) and Osteoclast Associated Receptor (OSCAR) and their respective adaptor proteins, DAP12 and FcRγ mediate ITAM signals and induce calcium signaling and the crucial transcription factor, NFATc1. In rheumatoid arthritis (RA), OSCAR expression by monocytes is inversely correlated with disease activity. Additionally, serum levels of OSCAR are reduced in RA patients versus healthy controls suggesting that expression and secretion or cleavage of soluble (s) OSCAR is immune modulated. Recent data suggest that endothelial cells may also be a source of OSCAR.
ITAM receptors, their adaptor proteins, and NFATc1 and cathepsin K were detected in human synovial tissues by immunohistochemistry. Synovial tissues from patients with active RA were compared with tissue from patients in remission, osteoarthritis (OA) patients and healthy individuals. OSCAR was measured by immunoassay in synovial fluids recovered from active RA and OA patients. Endothelial cells were cultured with or without 5 ng/mL TNF-α or IL-1β over 72 hours. Temporal expression of OSCAR mRNA was assessed by qRT PCR and OSCAR protein in the supernatant was measured by ELISA.
Significantly higher (P < 0.05) NFATc1-positive inflammatory cell aggregates were found in active RA tissues than in healthy synovial tissue. Similarly, the percentage of OSCAR, FcRγ, DAP12 and TREM2 positive cells was significantly higher in active RA tissues compared to the healthy synovial tissue. Notably, OSCAR was strongly expressed in the microvasculature of the active RA tissues (9/9), inactive RA (8/9) weakly in OA (4/9) but only in the lumen of healthy synovial tissue (0/8). OSCAR levels were detected in synovial fluids from both RA (47 to 152 ng/mL) and OA (112 to 145 ng/mL) patients. Moreover, OSCAR mRNA expression and soluble OSCAR release was stimulated by TNF-α and IL1-β in cultured endothelial cells.
Increased levels of ITAM related factors were present in synovial tissue from active RA joints compared to OA and healthy joints. OSCAR was strongly expressed by the vasculature of active RA patients and membrane bound and soluble OSCAR was stimulated by inflammatory mediators in endothelial cells in vitro.
PMCID: PMC3674611  PMID: 23146195
4.  TWEAK and Fn14 expression in the pathogenesis of joint inflammation and bone erosion in rheumatoid arthritis 
TNF-like weak inducer of apoptosis (TWEAK) has been proposed as a mediator of inflammation and bone erosion in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). This study aimed to investigate TWEAK and TWEAK receptor (Fn14) expression in synovial tissue from patients with active and inactive rheumatoid arthritis (RA), osteoarthritis (OA) and normal controls and assess soluble (s)TWEAK levels in the synovial fluids from patients with active RA and OA. Effects of sTWEAK on osteoclasts and osteoblasts were investigated in vitro.
TWEAK and Fn14 expression were detected in synovial tissues by immunohistochemistry (IHC). Selected tissues were dual labelled with antibodies specific for TWEAK and lineage-selective cell surface markers CD68, Tryptase G, CD22 and CD38. TWEAK mRNA expression was examined in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) sorted on the basis of their expression of CD22. sTWEAK was detected in synovial fluid from OA and RA patients by ELISA. The effect of sTWEAK on PBMC and RAW 264.7 osteoclastogenesis was examined. The effect of sTWEAK on cell surface receptor activator of NF Kappa B Ligand (RANKL) expression by human osteoblasts was determined by flow cytometry.
TWEAK and Fn14 expression were significantly higher in synovial tissue from all patient groups compared to the synovial tissue from control subjects (P < 0.05). TWEAK was significantly higher in active compared with inactive RA tissues (P < 0.05). TWEAK expression co-localised with a subset of CD38+ plasma cells and with CD22+ B-lymphocytes in RA tissues. Abundant TWEAK mRNA expression was detected in normal human CD22+ B cells. Higher levels of sTWEAK were observed in synovial fluids isolated from active RA compared with OA patients. sTWEAK did not stimulate osteoclast formation directly from PBMC, however, sTWEAK induced the surface expression of RANKL by human immature, STRO-1+ osteoblasts.
The expression of TWEAK by CD22+ B cells and CD38+ plasma cells in RA synovium represents a novel potential pathogenic pathway. High levels of sTWEAK in active RA synovial fluid and of TWEAK and Fn14 in active RA tissue, together with the effect of TWEAK to induce osteoblastic RANKL expression, is consistent with TWEAK/Fn14 signalling being important in the pathogenesis of inflammation and bone erosion in RA.
PMCID: PMC3132040  PMID: 21435232
Osteoclasts are bone-resorbing cells that differentiate from macrophage precursors in response to receptor activator of NF-κB (RANKL). In vitro models of osteoclast differentiation are principally based on primary cell culture, which are poorly suited to molecular and transgene studies due to the limitations associated with the use of primary macrophage. RAW264.7 is a transfectable macrophage cell line with the capacity to form osteoclast-like cells. In the present study we have identified osteoclast precursors among clones of RAW264.7 cells. RAW264.7 cell were cloned by limiting dilution and induced to osteoclast differentiation by treatment with recombinant RANKL. Individual RAW264.7 cell clones formed tartrate resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP) positive multinuclear cells to various degrees with RANKL treatment. All clones tested expressed the RANKL receptor RANK. Each of the clones expressed the osteoclast marker genes TRAP and cathepsin-K mRNA with RANKL treatment. However, we noted that only select clones were able to form large, well-spread, TRAP positive multinuclear cells. Clones capable of forming large TRAP positive multinuclear cells also expressed β3 integrin and calcitonin receptor mRNAs and were capable of resorbing a mineralized matrix. All clones tested activated NF-κB with RANKL treatment. cDNA expression profiling of osteoclast precursor RAW264.7 cell clones demonstrates appropriate expression of a large number of genes before and after osteoclastic differentiation. These osteoclast precursor RAW264.7 cell clones provide a valuable model for dissecting the cellular and molecular regulation of osteoclast differentiation and activation.
PMCID: PMC2883882  PMID: 16948499
RANKL; bone; resorption; differentiation
6.  NFATc1 regulation of the human β3 integrin promoter in osteoclast differentiation 
Gene  2006;372:92-102.
The transcription factor NFATc1 plays an essential role in transducing signals from RANKL in osteoclast differentiation. To date, however, the specific transcriptional targets of NFATc1 are unknown. Expression of the β3 integrin is required for normal osteoclast function. We therefore examined the role of NFATc1 in human β3 integrin expression in osteoclast differentiation. Analysis of the mouse and human β3 gene promoters revealed considerable sequence homology across a 1.3 kb region upstream of the transcription start site (TSS), with conserved NFAT binding elements present. The region −1242 to +29 (relative to the TSS) was cloned as a luciferase reporter construct (pB3-1.3) and a deletion construct removing to −997 (pB3-1) made. The deletion of 245 bp 5′ removed three conserved NFAT sites including a consensus NFAT:AP-1 site. The pB3-1.3 reporter construct was induced by treatment with RANKL in the range 2.5–40 ng/ml and dose-dependently induced by co-transfection with human NFATc1 in RAW264.7 cells. The pB3-1 deletion construct was minimally induced with RANKL treatment and unresponsive to co-transfected NFATc1. Direct NFAT binding to two of the consensus NFAT sites within this 245 bp 5′ region was demonstrated by EMSA and supershift with anti-NFAT antibodies. Mutation of two of the conserved NFAT sites in the −1242 to −997 fragment was required to prevent binding. The double NFAT mutant, in the context of the full-length promoter was unresponsive to RANKL treatment or co-transfected NFATc1. We generated cell-permeable TAT-dominant-negative (dn)NFATc1 fusion proteins to assess the effect of blockade of NFAT signaling. Transduction with dnNFAT inhibited RANKL induction of the human β3 integrin promoter. Involvement of the NFATc1-calcineurin pathway in regulating the human β3 integrin promoter was further confirmed using the calcineurin pathway inhibitory peptide 11R-VIVIT. Together these results establish the β3 gene as a direct target of NFATc1 in RANKL-dependent osteoclast formation.
PMCID: PMC1447605  PMID: 16513293
Transcriptional regulation; Beta 3; Bone; RANKL; BLAST, basic local alignment search tool; mBMM, mouse bone marrow macrophage; bp, base pairs; CTR, calcitonin receptor; cath K, cathepsin K; dn, dominant negative; TBE, Tris Buffered EDTA; EMSAs, electrophoretic mobility shift assays; HA, hemagglutinin; IPTG, isopropyl-β-d-thiogalactopyranoside; luc, luciferase; NFAT, nuclear factor of activated T cells; OSCAR, osteoclast associated receptor; PBS, phosphate buffered saline; PMA, phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate; RANKL, receptor activator NFκB ligand; S.D., standard deviation; TSS, transcription start site; WT, wild type
7.  The role played by cell-substrate interactions in the pathogenesis of osteoclast-mediated peri-implant osteolysis 
Prosthetic wear debris-induced peri-implant osteolysis is a major cause of aseptic loosening after total joint replacement. In this condition, wear particles released from the implant components induce a granulomatous inflammatory reaction at the interface between implant and adjacent bone, leading to progressive bone resorption and loss of fixation. The present study was undertaken to characterize definitively the phenotype of osteoclast-like cells associated with regions of peri-implant focal bone resorption and to compare the phenotypic features of these cells with those of mononucleated and multinucleated cells associated with polyethylene wear particles. Peri-implant tissues were obtained from patients undergoing hip revision surgery for aseptic loosening after total joint replacement. Cells were examined for the expression of several markers associated with the osteoclast phenotype using immunohistochemistry, histochemistry, and/or in situ hybridization. CD68 protein, a marker expressed by multiple macrophage lineage cell types, was detected in mononucleated and multinucleated cells associated with polyethylene particles and the bone surface. Cathepsin K and tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase were expressed highly in both mononucleated and multinucleated cells associated with the bone surface. Levels of expression were much lower in cells associated with polyethylene particles. High levels of β3 integrin protein were detected in cells in contact with bone. Multinucleated cells associated with polyethylene particles exhibited faint positive staining. Calcitonin receptor mRNA expression was detected solely in multinucleated cells present in resorption lacunae on the bone surface and was absent in cells associated with polyethylene particles. Our findings provide further evidence that cells expressing the full repertoire of osteoclast phenotypic markers are involved in the pathogenesis of peri-implant osteolysis after total joint replacement. They also demonstrate that foreign body giant cells, although believed to be phenotypically and functionally distinct from osteoclasts, express many osteoclast-associated genes and gene products. However, the levels and patterns of expression of these genes in the two cell types differ. We speculate that, in addition to the role of cytokines and growth factors, the substrate with which these cells interact plays a critical role in their differential phenotypic and functional properties.
PMCID: PMC1526628  PMID: 16613614

Results 1-7 (7)