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Physiological Changes in Extracellular Calcium Concentration Directly Control Osteoblast Function in the Absence of Calciotropic Hormones

Melita M. Dvorak, Ashia Siddiqua, Donald T. Ward, D. Howard Carter, Sarah L. Dallas, Edward F. Nemeth, Daniela Riccardi and Maurice B. Burg
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Vol. 101, No. 14 (Apr. 6, 2004), pp. 5140-5145
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3371832
Page Count: 6
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Physiological Changes in Extracellular Calcium Concentration Directly Control Osteoblast Function in the Absence of Calciotropic Hormones
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Abstract

We investigated the direct effects of changes in free ionized extracellular calcium concentrations ([ Ca2+] o) on osteoblast function and the involvement of the calcium-sensing receptor (CaR) in mediating these responses. CaR mRNA and protein were detected in osteoblast models, freshly isolated fetal rat calvarial cells and murine clonal osteoblastic 2T3 cells, and in freshly frozen, undecalcified preparations of human mandible and rat femur. In fetal rat calvarial cells, elevating [ Ca2+] o and treatment with gadolinium, a nonpermeant CaR agonist, resulted in phosphorylation of the extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1 and 2, Akt, and glycogen-synthase kinase 3β, consistent with signals of cell survival and proliferation. In agreement, cell number was increased under these conditions. Expression of the osteoblast differentiation markers core binding factor α1, osteopontin, and collagen I mRNAs was increased by high [ Ca2+] o, as was mineralized nodule formation. Alkaline phosphatase activity was maximal for [ Ca2+] o between 1.2 and 1.8 mM. Inhibition of CaR by NPS 89636 blocked responses to the CaR agonists. In conclusion, we show that small deviations of [ Ca2+] o from physiological values have a profound impact on bone cell fate, by means of the CaR and independently of systemic calciotropic peptides.

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