Adaptive modeling and remodeling are controlled by the activities of osteoblasts and osteoclasts, which are capable of sensing their mechanical environments and regulating deposition or resorption of bone matrix. The effects of mechanical stimuli on isolated osteoclasts have been scarcely examined because it has proven to be difficult to prepare a number of pure osteoclasts and to cultivate them on mineralized substratum during mechanical stimulation. Recently, we developed an apparatus for applying mechanical stretching to the ivory slice/plastic plate component on which cells could be cultured. The loading frequency, strain rate, and generated strain over an ivory surface could be controlled by a personal computer. Using this apparatus, we examined the role of mechanical stretching on the bone-resorbing activity of the osteoclasts. Mature and highly enriched osteoclasts were cultured for 2, 12, and 24 h on the ivory/plate component while being subjected to intermittent tensile strain. The stretched osteoclasts showed enhanced messenger RNA (mRNA) expression levels of osteoclast marker enzymes, tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP), and cathepsin K and increases of resorbed-pit formation, suggesting that the mechanical stretching up-regulated the bone-resorbing activity of the osteoclasts. A stretch-activated cation (SA-cat) channel blocker significantly inhibited the increases of the mRNA level and pit formation after 24 h of stretching. This study suggested the possibility that the mature osteoclasts responded to mechanical stretching through a mechanism involving a SA-cat channel in the absence of mesenchymal cells and, as a result, up-regulated their bone-resorbing activity.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine