Bone Origin of the Serum Complex of Calcium, Phosphate, Fetuin, and Matrix Gla Protein: Biochemical Evidence for the Cancellous Bone-Remodeling Compartment

Authors


  • The authors have no conflict of interest.

Abstract

We previously described the discovery of a fetuin-matrix Gla protein (MGP)-mineral complex in the serum of rats treated with the bone-active bisphosphonate etidronate and showed that the appearance of this complex in serum correlates with the inhibition of bone mineralization by etidronate. In this study we show that the inhibition of bone resorption by treatment with the hormone calcitonin, the cytokine osteoprotegerin, or the drug alendronate, completely inhibits the generation of the fetuin-mineral complex in response to etidronate injection. These observations can be explained best by the bone-remodeling compartment (BRC), a cancellous bone compartment in which the concentrations of calcium and phosphate are determined directly by the combined actions of the osteoclast and the osteoblast. When bone mineralization is acutely inhibited by etidronate, the BRC model predicts that the continuing action of osteoclasts will cause a sharp rise in the concentrations of calcium and phosphate in the aqueous solution of the BRC with the consequent spontaneous formation of calcium phosphate crystal nuclei in which growth then would be arrested by formation of a complex with fetuin. When the inhibition of bone resorption by calcitonin, osteoprotegerin, or alendronate is combined with the acute inhibition of bone mineralization with etidronate, the BRC model correctly predicts that there will no longer be a sharp rise in calcium and phosphate, and, therefore, there will no longer be the formation of the fetuin-mineral complex. The vascular nature of the BRC is supported by the observations that the fetuin component of the fetuin-mineral complex is derived from plasma fetuin and that the fetuin mineral complex appears in plasma within minutes of the inhibition of bone mineralization with etidronate.

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