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Journal of Cellular Biochemistry

Rapamycin inhibits BMP-7-induced osteogenic and lipogenic marker expressions in fetal rat calvarial cells

Authors

  • Lee-Chuan C. Yeh,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Biochemistry, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas 78229
    • Department of Biochemistry, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, 7703 Floyd Curl Drive, San Antonio, TX 78229-3900.
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  • Xiuye Ma,

    1. Department of Biochemistry, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas 78229
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  • Jeffery J. Ford,

    1. Department of Biochemistry, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas 78229
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  • Martin L. Adamo,

    1. Department of Biochemistry, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas 78229
    2. The Sam and Ann Barshop Institute for Aging an Longevity Studies, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas 78245
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  • John C. Lee

    1. Department of Biochemistry, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas 78229
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  • The authors declare no competing interests. None of the authors have a competing financial interest in any companies providing reagents for this study.

Abstract

Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) promote osteoblast differentiation and bone formation in vitro and in vivo. BMPs canonically signal through Smad transcription factors, but BMPs may activate signaling pathways traditionally stimulated by growth factor tyrosine kinase receptors. Of these, the mTOR pathway has received considerable attention because BMPs activate P70S6K, a downstream effector of mTOR, suggesting that BMP-induced osteogenesis is mediated by mTOR activation. However, contradictory effects of the mTOR inhibitor rapamycin (RAPA) on bone formation have been reported. Since bone formation is thought to be inversely related to lipid accumulation and mTOR is also important for lipid synthesis, we postulated that BMP-7 may stimulate lipogenic enzyme expression in a RAPA-sensitive mechanism. To test this hypothesis, we determined the effects of RAPA on BMP-7-stimulated expression of osteogenic and lipogenic markers in cultured fetal rat calvarial cells. Our study showed that BMP-7 promoted the expression of osteogenic and lipogenic markers. The effect of BMP-7 on osteogenic markers was greater in magnitude than on lipogenic markers and was temporally more sustained. RAPA inhibited basal and BMP-7-stimulated osteogenic and lipogenic marker expression and bone nodule mineralization. The acetyl CoA carboxylase inhibitor TOFA stimulated the expression of osteoblast differentiation markers, whereas palmitate suppressed their expression. We speculate that the BMP-7-stimulated adipogenesis is part of the normal anabolic response to BMPs, but that inappropriate activation of the lipid biosynthetic pathway by mTOR could have deleterious effects on bone formation and could explain paradoxical effects of RAPA to promote bone formation. J. Cell. Biochem. 114: 1760–1771, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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