University of Oulu

Attachment, polarity and communication characteristics of bone cells

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Author: Ilvesaro, Joanna1,2
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology
2University of Oulu, Biocenter Oulu
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.3 MB)
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Language: English
Published: 2001
Publish Date: 2001-03-26
Thesis type: Doctoral Dissertation
Defence Note: Academic Dissertation to be presented with the assent of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, for public discussion in the Auditorium L101 of the Department of Medical Biochemistry, on April 20th, 2001, at 12 noon.
Reviewer: Docent Antero Salminen
Professor Karl Åkerman


Bone resorbing osteoclasts require tight attachment of their plasma membrane to the bone surface in order to retain the specific microenvironment and thus to be able to dissolve the bone matrix underneath. Cadherins are transmembrane glycoproteins usually mediating homophilic calcium-dependent cell-cell adhesion. In the present work we have studied the effects of the cadherin CAR sequence HAV-containing hexapeptide AHAVSE on osteoclasts. The primary attachment of osteoclasts to bone surface is not affected by the peptide, suggesting that it is not mediated by cadherins. Treatment of osteoclast cultures with AHAVSE decreased the number of resorption pits and the total resorbed area. Furthermore, we show rapid inactivation of osteoclasts with AHAVSE, which is seen as a decrease in the percentage of osteoclasts with actin rings. Pan-cadherin antibodies localized cadherin-like molecule in the sealing zone area of osteoclasts. These results suggest that cadherin-like molecules may mediate the tight attachment of osteoclasts in the sealing zone area and that the decrease of resorption in AHAVSE-treated osteoclast cultures is due to prevention of sealing zone formation.

We studied the polarity of mesenchymal osteoblasts using osteosarcoma cell line UMR-108 and endosteal osteoblasts in situ in bone tissue cultures. Immunofluorescence confocal microscopy revealed that the vesicular stomatitis virus glycoprotein (VSV G) was targeted to the culture medium-facing surface. In endosteal osteoblasts, VSV G protein was found in the surface facing the bone marrow and circulation. On the contrary, Influenza virus hemagglutinin (HA) was localized to the bone substrate-facing surface of the UMR-108 cells. Electron microscopy showed that VSV particles were budding from the culture medium-facing surface, whereas Influenza viruses budded from the bone substrate-facing plasma membrane. These findings suggest the bone attaching plasma membrane of osteoblasts is apical, and the circulation or bone marrow facing plasma membrane is basolateral in nature. Gap junctions often mediate communication between different cells and cell types. In the present work, we demonstrate that rat osteoclasts show connexin-43 staining localizing in the plasma membrane of the cells in cell-cell contacts and over the basolateral membrane of osteoclasts. The effects of heptanol and Gap 27, known gap- junctional inhibitors, were studied using the well-characterized pit formation assay. The inhibitors decreased the number and activity of osteoclasts, suggesting a defect in the fusion of mononuclear osteoclast precursors to multinucleated mature osteoclasts. Furthermore, the total resorbed area and the number of resorption pits also decreased in the cultures. These results suggest that gap-junctional connexin-43 plays a functional role in osteoclasts, and that the blocking of gap junctions decreases both the number and the activity of osteoclasts.

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Series: Acta Universitatis Ouluensis. D, Medica
ISSN-E: 1796-2234
ISBN: 951-42-5935-1
ISBN Print: 951-42-5934-3
Issue: 628
Copyright information: © University of Oulu, 2001. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.