HO-1 expression increases mesenchymal stem cell-derived osteoblasts but decreases adipocyte lineage
Human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) are pleiotropic cells that differentiate to either adipocytes or osteoblasts as a result of cross-talk by specific signaling pathways including heme oxygenase (HO)-1/-2 expression. We examined the effect of inducers of HO-1 expression and inhibitors of HO activity on MSC differentiation to the osteoblast and adipocyte lineage. HO-1 expression is increased during osteoblast stem cell development but remains elevated at 25 days. The increase in HO-1 levels precedes an increase in alkaline phosphatase (AP) activity and an increase in BMP, osteonectin and RUNX-2 mRNA. Induction of HO-1 by osteogenic growth peptide (OGP) was associated with an increase in BMP-2 and osteonectin. Exposure of MSC to high glucose levels decreased osteocalcin and osteogenic protein expression, which was reversed by upregulation of the OGP-mediated increase in HO-1 expression. The glucose-mediated decrease in HO-1 resulted in decreased levels of pAMPK, pAKT and the eNOS signaling pathway and was reversed by OGP. In contrast, MSC-derived adipocytes were increased by glucose. HO-1 siRNA decreased HO-1 expression but increased adipocyte stem cell differentiation and the adipogenesis marker, PPARγ. Thus, upregulation of HO-1 expression shifts the balance of MSC differentiation in favor of the osteoblast lineage. In contrast, a decrease in HO-1 or exposure to glucose drives the MSC towards adipogenesis. Thus, targeting HO-1 expression is a portal to increased osteoblast stem cell differentiation and to the attenuation of osteoporosis by the promotion of bone formation.
Vanella L, Kim DH, Asprinio D, Peterson SJ, Barbagallo I, Vanella A, Goldstein D, Ikehara S, Kappas A, Abraham NG. HO-1 expression increases mesenchymal stem cell-derived osteoblasts but decreases adipocyte lineage. Bone. 2010 Jan 31;46(1):236-43.