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Endocrinology. 2013 Dec;154(12):4919-26. doi: 10.1210/en.2012-2234. Epub 2013 Oct 18.

Thyroid and bone: macrophage-derived TSH-β splice variant increases murine osteoblastogenesis.

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Room 2F-28, James J. Peters VA Medical Center, 130 West Kingsbridge Road, Bronx, New York, NY 10468.


It is now firmly established that TSH may influence the physiology and patho-physiology of bone by activating osteoblasts and inhibiting osteoclast activity resulting in relative osteoprotection. Whether this influence is directly exerted by pituitary-derived TSH in vivo is less certain, because we have previously reported that the suppression of pituitary TSH does not remove such protection. Here, we have characterized the functional relevance of a novel form of the TSH-β subunit, designated TSH-βv, known to be produced by murine bone marrow cells. We found that fresh bone marrow-derived macrophages (MØs) preferentially produced TSH-βv and, when cocultured with CHO cells engineered to overexpress the full-length TSH receptor, were able to generate the production of intracellular cAMP; a phenomenon not seen in control CHO cells, such results confirmed the bioactivity of the TSH variant. Furthermore, cocultures of MØs and osteoblasts were shown to enhance osteoblastogenesis, and this phenomenon was markedly reduced by antibody to TSH-β, suggesting direct interaction between MØs and osteoblasts as observed under the electron microscope. These data suggest a new paradigm of local modulation of bone biology by a MØ-derived TSH-like molecule and raise the question of the relative contribution of local vs pituitary-derived TSH in osteoprotection.

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