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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2005 Apr 29;330(1):341-8.

The effect of cytoskeletal disruption on pulsatile fluid flow-induced nitric oxide and prostaglandin E2 release in osteocytes and osteoblasts.

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Centre for Bioengineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland.


Fluid flowing through the bone porosity might be a primary stimulus for functional adaptation of bone. Osteoblasts, and osteocytes in particular, respond to fluid flow in vitro with enhanced nitric oxide (NO) and prostaglandin E(2) (PGE(2)) release; both of these signaling molecules mediate mechanically-induced bone formation. Because the cell cytoskeleton is involved in signal transduction, we hypothesized that the pulsatile fluid flow-induced release of NO and PGE(2) in both osteoblastic and osteocytic cells involves the actin and microtubule cytoskeleton. In testing this hypothesis we found that fluid flow-induced NO response in osteoblasts was accompanied by parallel alignment of stress fibers, whereas PGE(2) response was related to fluid flow stimulation of focal adhesions formed after cytoskeletal disruption. Fluid flow-induced PGE(2) response in osteocytes was inhibited by cytoskeletal disruption, whereas in osteoblasts it was enhanced. These opposite PGE(2) responses are likely related to differences in cytoskeletal composition (osteocyte structure was more dependent on actin), but may occur via cytoskeletal modulation of shear/stretch-sensitive ion channels that are known to be dominant in osteocyte (and not osteoblast) response to mechanical loading.

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