Uridine Triphosphate Inhibits Bone Growth in Rat Cells In Vitro


Osteoblast responses to nucleotides increase during differentiation.

Accumulating evidence suggests that extracellular nucleotides, signaling through P2 receptors, play a role in modulating bone cell function. ATP and ADP stimulate osteoclastic resorption, while ATP and UTP are powerful inhibitors of bone formation by osteoblasts. We investigated changes in the expression of P2 receptors with cell differentiation in primary osteoblast cultures. Rat calvarial osteoblasts, cultured for up to 10 days, were loaded with the intracellular Ca(2+)-sensing fluorophore, Fluo-4 AM, and a fluorescence imaging plate reader was used to measure responses to nucleotide agonists. Peak responses occurred within 20 s and were evoked by ATP or UTP at concentrations as low as 2 microM. Osteoblast number doubled between day 4 and 10 of culture, but the peak intracellular Ca(2+) response to ATP or UTP increased up to 6-fold over the same period, indicating that osteoblast responsiveness to nucleotides increases as cell differentiation proceeds. The approximate order of potency for the most active nucleotide agonists at day 8 of culture was ATP > UTP and ATPgammaS > ADP > UDP, consistent with the expression of functional P2Y(2), P2X(2), P2Y(4), P2Y(1) and P2Y(6) receptors. Smaller responses were elicited by 2-MeSATP, Bz-ATP and alpha,beta-meATP, additionally suggesting the presence of functional P2X(1), P2X(3), P2X(5) and P2X(7) receptors. Expression of mRNA for the ATP- and UTP-selective P2Y(2) receptor increased strongly between day 6 and 15 in primary rat osteoblasts, whereas mRNAs for the P2Y(4) (also ATP/UTP selective) and P2Y(6) (UDP/UTP selective) receptors were highly expressed at intermediate time points. In contrast, mRNA for the cell-proliferation-associated P2X(5) receptor decreased to undetectable as osteoblasts matured, but mRNA for the cell-death-associated P2X(7) receptor was detected at all time points. Similar trends were evident using immunostaining and Western blotting for P2 receptors. Exposure to 10 muM ATP or UTP during days 10-14 of culture was sufficient to cause near-total blockade of the ‘trabecular’ bone nodules formed by osteoblasts; however, UDP and ADP were without effect. Our results show that there is a shift from P2X to P2Y expression during differentiation in culture, with mature osteoblasts preferentially expressing the P2Y(2) receptor and to a lesser extent P2Y(4) and P2Y(6) receptors. Taken together, these data suggest that the P2Y(2) receptor, and possibly the P2Y(4) receptor, could function as ‘off-switches’ for mineralized bone formation.

Orriss IR, Knight GE, Ranasinghe S, Burnstock G…
Bone Aug 2006
PMID: 16616882


ATP and UTP at low concentrations strongly inhibit bone formation by osteoblasts: a novel role for the P2Y2 receptor in bone remodeling.

There is increasing evidence that extracellular nucleotides act on bone cells via multiple P2 receptors. The naturally-occurring ligand ATP is a potent agonist at all receptor subtypes, whereas ADP and UTP only act at specific receptor subtypes. We have reported that the formation and resorptive activity of rodent osteoclasts are stimulated powerfully by both extracellular ATP and its first degradation product, ADP, the latter acting at nanomolar concentrations, probably via the P2Y1 receptor subtype. In the present study, we investigated the actions of ATP, ADP, adenosine, and UTP on osteoblastic function. In 16-21 day cultures of primary rat calvarial osteoblasts, ADP and the selective P2Y1 agonist 2-methylthioADP were without effect on bone nodule formation at concentrations between 1 and 125 microM, as was adenosine. However, UTP, a P2Y2 and P2Y4 receptor agonist, known to be without effect on osteoclast function, strongly inhibited bone nodule formation at concentrations >or= 1 microM. ATP was inhibitory at >or= 10 microM. Rat osteoblasts express P2Y2, but not P2Y4 receptor mRNA, as determined by in situ hybridization. Thus, the low-dose effects of extracellular nucleotides on bone formation and bone resorption appear to be mediated via different P2Y receptor subtypes: ADP, signalling through the P2Y1 receptor on both osteoclasts and osteoblasts, is a powerful stimulator of osteoclast formation and activity, whereas UTP, signalling via the P2Y2 receptor on osteoblasts, blocks bone formation by osteoblasts. ATP, the ‘universal’ agonist, can simultaneously stimulate resorption and inhibit bone formation. These findings suggest that extracellular nucleotides could function locally as important negative modulators of bone metabolism, perhaps contributing to bone loss in a number of pathological states.

Hoebertz A, Mahendran S, Burnstock G, Arnett TR
J. Cell. Biochem. 2002
PMID: 12210747


Regulation of the osteogenic and adipogenic differentiation of bone marrow-derived stromal cells by extracellular uridine triphosphate: The role of P2Y2 receptor and ERK1/2 signaling.

An imbalance in the osteogenesis and adipogenesis of bone marrow-derived stromal cells (BMSCs) is a crucial pathological factor in the development of osteoporosis. Growing evidence suggests that extracellular nucleotide signaling involving the P2 receptors plays a significant role in bone metabolism. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of uridine triphosphate (UTP) on the osteogenic and adipogenic differentiation of BMSCs, and to elucidate the underlying mechanisms. The differentiation of the BMSCs was determined by measuring the mRNA and protein expression levels of osteogenic- and adipogenic-related markers, alkaline phosphatase (ALP) staining, alizarin red staining and Oil Red O staining. The effects of UTP on BMSC differentiation were assayed using selective P2Y receptor antagonists, small interfering RNA (siRNA) and an intracellular signaling inhibitor. The incubation of the BMSCs with UTP resulted in a dose-dependent decrease in osteogenesis and an increase in adipogenesis, without affecting cell proliferation. Significantly, siRNA targeting the P2Y2 receptor prevented the effects of UTP, whereas the P2Y6 receptor antagonist (MRS2578) and siRNA targeting the P2Y4 receptor had little effect. The activation of P2Y receptors by UTP transduced to the extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) signaling pathway. This transduction was prevented by the mitogen-activated protein kinase inhibitor (U0126) and siRNA targeting the P2Y2 receptor. U0126 prevented the effects of UTP on osteogenic- and adipogenic-related gene expression after 24 h of culture, as opposed to 3 to 7 days of culture. Thus, our data suggest that UTP suppresses the osteogenic and enhances the adipogenic differentiation of BMSCs by activating the P2Y2 receptor. The ERK1/2 signaling pathway mediates the early stages of this process.

Li W, Wei S, Liu C, Song M…
Int. J. Mol. Med. Jan 2016
PMID: 26531757 | Free Full Text

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