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J Endocrinol. 1996 Jan;148(1):181-7.

17 beta-oestradiol enhances the stimulatory effect of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 on alkaline phosphatase activity in human osteosarcoma SaOS-2 cells in a differentiation-dependent manner.

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  • 1Calcium Research Laboratory, St Michael's Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


We tested the effect of osteoblastic differentiation on the interactive effects of 17 beta-oestradiol (E2) and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25(OH)2D3) on alkaline phosphatase activity. As cell models we utilized the more differentiated human osteosarcoma (SaOS) cells that had been cultured for 6 days in medium containing 10 nM dexamethasone (Dex) (SaOS+Dex cells) and the less differentiated cells cultured in the absence of Dex (SaOS-Dex cells). The cells were challenged with 1,25(OH)2D3 in the presence or absence of Dex for 24 h and then with E2 for an additional 24 h. In SaOS-Dex cells, alkaline phosphatase activity remained constant over the 48-h period and was not significantly affected by E2, 1,25(OH)2D3 or 1,25(OH)2D3+E2 treatment. On the other hand, in SaOS+Dex cells, 1,25(OH)2D3 and E2+1,25(OH)2D3 stimulated alkaline phosphatase activity (ANOVA, F = 154.2, P < 0.0001) with the maximal response at 48 h (P < 0.01). In SaOS+Dex cells, 1,25(OH)2D3 had dose-dependent stimulatory effects which were strongly enhanced by 10 nM E2 (ANOVA, F = 46.0, P < 0.001). Studies on dose-dependent effects of E2, in the presence or absence of 100 nM 1,25(OH)2D3, revealed that in the presence of 1,25(OH)2D3, the E2 dose-response curve was biphasic in SaOS+Dex cells (ANOVA, F = 3.40, P < 0.005), with maximum stimulation at 10 nM E2 (P < 0.01). The specificity of E2 was verified using the inactive 17 alpha-oestradiol and the oestrogen antagonist, tamoxifen. These data indicate that E2 and 1,25(OH)2D3 have positive interactive effects on alkaline phosphatase activity in human osteoblasts, and suggest that the expression of this interaction is dependent on the stage of differentiation of the cells.

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