OCY454 Osteocytes as an in Vitro Cell Model for Bone Remodeling Under Mechanical Loading

Xu LH, Shao H, Ma YV, You L

J Orthop Res. 2019. doi: 10.1002/jor.24302.

November 2019

Osteocytes’ mechano‐regulation of bone formation and resorption is key to maintaining appropriate bone health. Although extensive in vitro studies have explored osteocyte mechanobiology using the well‐established MLO‐Y4 cell model, the low amount of sclerostin secreted by this cell line renders it inadequate for studying cross‐talk between osteocytes and osteoblasts under mechanical loading. Here, we investigated the potential of the sclerostin‐expressing OCY454 osteocyte cell model in fulfilling this role. Fully differentiated OCY454 cells were tested for mechano‐sensitivity by measuring changes in protein secretion, total adenosine triphosphate (ATP) content, and intracellular calcium in response to oscillatory fluid flow. Increases in sclerostin expression and total ATP content were observed. However, very low levels of receptor activator of the nuclear factor κ‐B ligand were detected, and there was a great inconsistency in calcium response. Conditioned medium (CM) from OCY454 cells was then used to culture osteoblast and osteoclast precursors. Osteoblast activity was quantified with alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and Alizarin Red S stain, while osteoclast differentiation was quantified with tartrate‐resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP) staining. We demonstrated that mechanically stimulated OCY454 cells released soluble factors that increased osteoblasts’ ALP activity (p < 0.05) and calcium deposition (p < 0.05). There was also a significant decrease of large‐sized TRAP‐positive osteoclasts when osteoclast precursors were treated with CM from flow‐stimulated OCY454 cells (p < 0.05). Results from this study suggest that OCY454 cells respond to mechanical loading with the release of key factors such as sclerostin to regulate downstream bone cells, thus demonstrating its potential as a novel cell model for in vitro osteocyte mechanobiology studies.

Full text of Dr L.H. Xu’s  article is available from HERE

L. H. Xu 
First Author

University of Toronto, Canada.

Ronald ‘Ron’ Kwon

University of Washington, USA.