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Melatonin at pharmacological doses enhances human osteoblastic differentiation in vitro and promotes mouse cortical bone formation in vivo

Authors

  • Kazuhito Satomura,

    1. Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Institute of Health Biosciences, The University of Tokushima Graduate School, Tokushima, Japan
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  • Satoru Tobiume,

    1. Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Institute of Health Biosciences, The University of Tokushima Graduate School, Tokushima, Japan
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  • Reiko Tokuyama,

    1. Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Institute of Health Biosciences, The University of Tokushima Graduate School, Tokushima, Japan
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  • Yasuhumi Yamasaki,

    1. Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Institute of Health Biosciences, The University of Tokushima Graduate School, Tokushima, Japan
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  • Keiko Kudoh,

    1. Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Institute of Health Biosciences, The University of Tokushima Graduate School, Tokushima, Japan
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  • Eriko Maeda,

    1. Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Institute of Health Biosciences, The University of Tokushima Graduate School, Tokushima, Japan
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  • Masaru Nagayama

    1. Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Institute of Health Biosciences, The University of Tokushima Graduate School, Tokushima, Japan
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Address reprint requests to Kazuhito Satomura, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Institute of Health Biosciences, The University of Tokushima Graduate School, 3-18-15 Kuramoto-cho, Tokushima 770-8504, Japan.
E-mail: satomura@dent.tokushima-u.ac.jp

Abstract

Abstract:  Melatonin is known to regulate a variety of physiological processes including control of circadian rhythms, regulation of seasonal reproductive function, regulation of body temperature, and so forth. Accumulating evidence from in vitro and in vivo experiments using rodent and chicken has also suggested that melatonin may have an influence on skeletal growth and bone formation. However, little is known about the effects of melatonin on human osteoblasts, which thus remains to be elucidated. This study was performed to determine whether melatonin could affect the proliferation and differentiation of human osteoblasts in vitro and to demonstrate the possibility that melatonin could be applied as a pharmaceutical agent to shorten the treatment period of bone fracture, various osteotomies, and bone distraction. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and Western blot analysis showed that human osteoblasts expressed melatonin 1a receptor and that its expression levels decreased gradually with the age of the hosts. Melatonin stimulated the proliferation and alkaline phosphatase activity of human osteoblasts in a dose-dependent manner at the pharmacological concentrations. Melatonin also promotes gene expression of type I collagen, osteopontin, bone sialoprotein, and osteocalcin in a dose-dependent manner, and stimulated the mineralized matrix formation in vitro. Moreover, intraperitoneal administration of melatonin to mice increased the volume of newly formed cortical bone of femora. These results demonstrated that melatonin directly accelerated the differentiation of osteoblasts of human as well as rodent and chicken and also suggested that melatonin could be applied as a pharmaceutical agent to promote bone regeneration.

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