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Apoptosis. 2013 Nov;18(11):1363-1375. doi: 10.1007/s10495-013-0867-x.

Estradiol inhibits osteoblast apoptosis via promotion of autophagy through the ER-ERK-mTOR pathway.

Author information

1
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Xinhua Hospital, Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, No. 1665, Kongjiang Road, Shanghai, 200092, China.
2
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Xinhua Hospital, Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, No. 1665, Kongjiang Road, Shanghai, 200092, China. jiangsd@126.com.
3
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Xinhua Hospital, Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, No. 1665, Kongjiang Road, Shanghai, 200092, China. jiangleisheng@126.com.

Abstract

Estradiol could protect osteoblast against apoptosis, and apoptosis and autophagy were extensively and intimately connected. The aim of the present study was to test the hypothesis that autophagy was present in osteoblasts under serum deprivation and estrogen protected against osteoblast apoptosis via promotion of autophagy. MC3T3-E1 osteoblastic cells were cultured in a serum-free and phenol red-free minimal essential medium (α-MEM). Ultrastructural analysis, lysosomal activity assessment and monodansycadaverine (MDC) staining were employed to determine the presence of autophagy, and real time PCR was used to evaluate the expression of autophagic markers. Meanwhile, the osteoblasts were transferred in a serum-free and phenol red-free α-MEM containing either vehicle or estradiol. Apoptosis and autophagy was assessed by using the techniques of real-time PCR, Western blot, immunofluorescence assay, and flow cytometry. The possible pathway through which estrogen promoted autophagy in the serum-deprived osteoblasts was also investigated. Real-time PCR demonstrated the expression of LC3, beclin1 and ULK1 genes in osteoblasts under serum deprivation, and immunofluorescence assay verified high expression of proteins of these three autophagic bio-markers. Lysosomes and autolysosomes accumulated in the cytoplasm of osteoblasts were also detected under transmission electron microscopy, MDC staining and lysosomal activity assessment. Meanwhile, estradiol significantly decreased the expression of proteins of the bio-markers of apoptosis, and at the same time increased the expression of proteins of the bio-markers of autophagy in the serum-deprived osteoblasts. Furthermore, the estradiol-promoted autophagy in serum-deprived osteoblasts could be blocked by estrogen receptor (ER) antagonist (ICI 182780), and estradiol failed to rescue the cells pretreated with an inhibitor of vacuolar ATPase (bafilomycin A) from apoptosis. Serum deprivation resulted in apoptosis through activation of Caspase-3 and induced autophagy through inhibition of phospho-mammalian target of rapamycin (p-mTOR). Both 3-methyladenine (3MA) and U0126 led to increase of apoptosis in osteoblasts with serum deprivation. Estradiol failed to over-ride the inhibitory effect of 3MA on phosphorylation of AKT but directly led to dephosphorylation of mTOR and upregulation of LC3 protein expression. However, the estradiol-enhanced LC3 protein expression was significantly suppressed by U0126 through inhibition of phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK). Estradiol rescued osteoblast apoptosis via promotion of autophagy through the ER-ERK-mTOR pathway.

PMID:
23743762
DOI:
10.1007/s10495-013-0867-x
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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