Scholarly article on topic 'The neuro-osteogenic network: The sympathetic regulation of bone resorption'

The neuro-osteogenic network: The sympathetic regulation of bone resorption Academic research paper on "Clinical medicine"

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{Osteoblast / Osteoclast / Neurite / Co-culture / "Sympathetic neuron" / "Sensory neuron"}

Abstract of research paper on Clinical medicine, author of scientific article — Akifumi Togari, Michitsugu Arai, Hisataka Kondo, Daisuke Kodama, Yuka Niwa

Summary Bone is innervated by sympathetic and sensory neurons, which play important roles in bone remodeling. Direct neuro-osteogenic cross-talk has been demonstrated using an in vitro co-culture model comprising osteoblastic or osteoclastic cells, and neurite-spouting mouse superior cervical ganglia, suggesting that these cells are directly regulated by sympathetic neurons. The increase in sympathetic nervous activity causes bone loss through increased bone resorption and decreased bone formation, associated with β2-adrenergic activity toward both osteoblastic and osteoclastic cells. The increased bone resorption is based on the stimulation of both osteoclastogenesis and osteoclastic activity. These studies suggest β-blockers to be effective against osteoporosis, in which case there is increased sympathetic activity. Epidemiological studies have demonstrated high blood pressure to be associated with increased bone loss and β-blockers to be potential candidates for drugs to treat osteoporosis and fractures. In animal experiments, a lower dose of β-blocker also improved bone mass and biomechanical fragility in a hypertensive model. Although the interplay between sympathetic and sensory neurons is poorly understood, interestingly, sensory denervated rats have been demonstrated to show similar bone metabolism to rats with hyperactivity of sympathetic tone. This review summarized both in vitro and in vivo evidence implicating sympathetic neuronal activity in bone resorption.

Academic research paper on topic "The neuro-osteogenic network: The sympathetic regulation of bone resorption"

Japanese Dental Science Review (2012) 48, 61—70

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Review Article

The neuro-osteogenic network: The sympathetic regulation of bone resorption

Akifumi Togari*, Michitsugu Arai, Hisataka Kondo, Daisuke Kodama, Yuka Niwa

Department of Pharmacology, School of Dentistry, Aichi-Gakuin University, 1-100 Kusumoto-cho, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya 464-8650, Japan

Received 4 November 2011; received in revised form 1 December 2011; accepted 3 December 2011

KEYWORDS

Osteoblast; Osteoclast; Neurite; Co-culture; Sympathetic neuron; Sensory neuron

Summary Bone is innervated by sympathetic and sensory neurons, which play important roles in bone remodeling. Direct neuro-osteogenic cross-talk has been demonstrated using an in vitro co-culture model comprising osteoblastic or osteoclastic cells, and neurite-spouting mouse superior cervical ganglia, suggesting that these cells are directly regulated by sympathetic neurons. The increase in sympathetic nervous activity causes bone loss through increased bone resorption and decreased bone formation, associated with p2-adrenergic activity toward both osteoblastic and osteoclastic cells. The increased bone resorption is based on the stimulation of both osteoclastogenesis and osteoclastic activity. These studies suggest p-blockers to be effective against osteoporosis, in which case there is increased sympathetic activity. Epidemiological studies have demonstrated high blood pressure to be associated with increased bone loss and p-blockers to be potential candidates for drugs to treat osteoporosis and fractures. In animal experiments, a lower dose of p-blocker also improved bone mass and biomechanical fragility in a hypertensive model. Although the interplay between sympathetic and sensory neurons is poorly understood, interestingly, sensory denervated rats have been demonstrated to show similar bone metabolism to rats with hyperactivity of sympathetic tone. This review summarized both in vitro and in vivo evidence implicating sympathetic neuronal activity in bone resorption. © 2011 Japanese Association for Dental Science. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Contents

1. Introduction............................................................................................................................................................62

2. Nerve-bone cell interplay......................................................................................................................................62

2.1. Adrenergic receptors and neuropeptide receptors........................................................................................62

2.2. Diffusible axon guidance molecules..............................................................................................................62

2.3. Nerve-bone cell communication....................................................................................................................63

* Corresponding author. Tel.: +81 52 757 6742; fax: +81 52 752 5988. E-mail address: togariaf@dpc.aichi-gakuin.ac.jp (A. Togari).

1882-7616/$ — see front matter © 2011 Japanese Association for Dental Science. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.jdsr.2011.12.002

3. Sympathetic effect on bone resorption..................................................................................................................64

3.1. Effect of adrenergic agonists on osteoclastogenesis......................................................................................64

3.2. Effect of adrenergic agonists on osteoclastic activity....................................................................................64

3.3. Sympathetic regulation of bone resorption in vivo........................................................................................65

3.4. Experimental and clinical evaluation of the effects of p-AR antagonists (p-blockers) on bone fracture risk.... 66

4. Physiological modification of sympathetic effect on bone resorption......................................................................67

4.1. Neuropeptides modifying adrenergic osteoclastogenesis in vitro....................................................................67

4.2. Relationship between the sympathetic and sensory nervous systems............................................................68

5. Concluding remarks................................................................................................................................................68

Acknowledgements ................................................................................................................................................68

References..............................................................................................................................................................69

1. Introduction

Neural regulation of the bone metabolism mediated by osteoblastic and osteoclastic cells has been demonstrated [1—7]. Previous studies showed that human osteoblastic and osteoclastic cells not only possess adrenergic receptors (ARs) and neuropeptide receptors but also constitutively express axon guidance molecules for growing nerve fibers [8,9]. These findings together with the immunohistochemical evidence that mammalian bones are widely innervated by sympathetic and sensory nerves suggest that the extension of the axons of sympathetic and peripheral sensory nerves to osteo-blastic and osteoclastic cells is required for the dynamic neural regulation of local bone metabolism. Direct nerve-osteoblastic cell communication was revealed using an in vitro co-culture model comprising osteoblastic cells, and neurite-spouting superior cervical ganglia [10,11]. Recent bulk experimental studies showed that the sympathetic nervous system was involved in increasing bone resorption and decreasing bone formation, and that p-AR antagonists were effective against osteoporosis attributed to increased sympathetic nervous activity. Then, although neuropeptides are known to have significant osteotropic effects on bone metabolism [12,13], neuropeptide Y (NPY) and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) have been a focus of our research, because of their modifying effect on osteoclastogenesis elicited by adrenergic stimulation [14,15].

The present article reviews our current understanding of the neuro-osteogenic network and sympathetic effects on bone resorption based on a variety of studies in vivo and in vitro. It also covers the physiological modification of sympathetic effects on bone resorption and discusses the role of neuropep-tides in the modulation of adrenergic bone resorption.

2. Nerve-bone cell interplay

2.1. Adrenergic receptors and neuropeptide receptors

Histochemical approaches have revealed the presence of vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP), CGRP, substance P (SP), NPY, and noradrenaline (NA) in osseal nerve fibers [16,17]. Pharmacological evidence also shows that both osteoblas-tic cells and osteoclastic cells possess receptors for neu-ropeptides and NA. These observations suggest that the expression of these receptors physiologically regulates bone cell activities. In 1997, we demonstrated that a1B-

AR, a2B-AR, p2-AR, CGRP-R, NPY-R, and VIP-1R, but not a1A-AR, a1D-AR, a2C-AR, p1-AR, p3-AR, SP-R, VIP-2R, and pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP)-R, were expressed in human periosteum-derived osteoblastic cells (SaM-1) and human osteosarcoma-derived cells (SaOS-2, HOS, MG-63) by the use of the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) [8]. The expression of these receptors seems to be a common feature of osteoblastic cells, but the magnitude of expression was not dependent upon the relative state of commitment of the osteoblastic cells to the osteoblast lineage (Table 1). In the osteoclastic cells, a1B-AR, a2B-AR, p2-AR, CGRP-R, SP-R and VIP-1Rwere expressed (Table 1). SaM-1 and human osteoclastic cells, generated from bone marrow, expressed several phenotypes typical of mature cells. Recently, the expression of ARs was also detected by immunofluorescence microscopy and Western blotting in human osteoblasts [18]. From these results, it was revealed that human osteoblastic as well as ost eoclastic cells are equipped with ARs and neuropeptide receptors.

2.2. Diffusible axon guidance molecules

During the development of the nervous system, neuronal growth cones traverse appropriate pathways to find their targets. Extending axons in the developing nervous system are guided to their targets through the coordinated actions of attractive and repulsive guidance cues. These mechanisms are mediated by many different families of guidance molecules secreted by target cells such as neurotrophins (chemoattrac-tants), semaphorin-III (a chemorepellent), and netrins (che-moattractants and chemorepellents) [19]. In order to determine the ability of osteoblastic and osteoclastic cells to produce these diffusible axon guidance molecules, the steady-state expression of neurotrophins (NGF, nerve growth factor; BDNF, brain derived neurotrophic factor; NT-3, neuro-trophin-3), semaphorin-III (Sema-III), netrins (NTN1, netrin-1; NTN2L, netrin-2-like protein) has been analyzed in SaM-1, SaOS-2, HOS, MG-63, and human osteoclastic cells by RT-PCR, ELISA, and Western blot analysis [9]. SaM-1 cells expressed NGF, BDNF, NT-3, Sema-III, NTN1, and NTN2L after reaching confluence (Table 1). Their expression was also detected in osteosarcoma-derived cells, though the magnitude of expression was different. Human osteoclastic cells expressed NGF, BDNF, Sema-III, and NTN1, but not NTN2L. Thus, both osteoblastic and osteoclastic cells also

Table 1 Expression of mRNAs for adrenergic receptors, neuropeptide receptors, and axon guidance molecules in human osteoblastic and osteoclastic cells.

SaM-1 SaOS-2 HOS MG-63 Osteoclast

Adrenergic receptors a1A-R (60) - - - - -

a1B-R (30) + +++ +++ ++ ++

a1D-R (60) - - - - -

a2A-R (60) - + - + -

a2B-R (60) + - + - ++

a2C-R (60) - - - - -

P1-R (30) - - - - -

P2-R (30) ++ ++ ++ ++ ++

P3-R (30) - - - - -

Neuropeptide receptors CGRP-R (45) + + + +++ ++

NPY-R (60) ++ + + - -

SP-R (60) - - - - ++

VIP-1R (35) + +++ ++ + ++

VIP-2R (35) - - - - -

PACAP-R (35) - - - - -

Axon guidance molecules NGF (30) ++ +++ - + +

BDNF (30) ++ ++ +++ + +

NT-3 (30) ++ +++ - ++ -

Sema-III (35) + ++ ++ ++ +++

NTN1 (32) + ++ +++ ++ +

NTN2L (32) + +++ +++ ++ -

(-) no, (+) faint, (++) medium, (+++) strong expression. Number: cycles for PCR amplification.

constitutively express diffusible axon guidance molecules known to function as chemoattractants and/or chemorepel-lents for growing nerve fibers. These findings may suggest that the extension of axons of sympathetic and peripheral sensory neurons to osteoblastic and osteoclastic cells is required for the dynamic neural regulation of local bone metabolism. Therefore, it has been proposed that signaling molecules in the nervous system may participate in the control of local bone metabolism and that, consequently, a neuro-osteogenic network may exist, one similar to previously proposed neuro-immune and neuro-immune-endocrine interacting systems [20—22].

2.3. Nerve-bone cell communication

Takeda et al. [2 demonstrated electron microscopically the presence of peripheral nerve axons coursing through the marrow adjacent to osteoblasts in bone tissue, in which case actual membrane-membrane contacts were formed between nerve and osteoblastic cells. However, whether the activation of both osteoblastic and osteoclastic cells occurs as a direct response to neuronal activation or requires an intermediary cell is unclear. In 2007, direct nerve-osteo-blastic cell communication was elucidated using an in vitro co-culture model comprising mouse osteoblastic cells, MC3T3-E1 cells, and neurite-spouting mouse superior cervical ganglia (Fig. 1) [10]. Following loading with the calcium fluorophore Fluo-3, neurite-osteoblastic cell units were examined by confocal laser scanning microscope. Addition of scorpion venom (SV) elicited neurite activation (i.e., Ca2+ mobilization) and, after a lag period, osteoblastic Ca2+ mobilization. SV had no direct effect on the MC3T3-E1 cells

in the absence of neurites. Addition of an a1-AR antagonist, prazosin, concentration-dependently prevented the osteo-blastic activation that resulted as a consequence of neural activation by SV. Thus, our recent findings demonstrate that MC3T3-E1 cell activation, as judged by Ca2+ mobilization, can be a direct consequence of contact with a specific activated nerve fiber. This evidence obtained in vitro shows that nerve-osteoblastic cell cross-talk can occur in the absence of an intermediary transducing cell, and that NA is an important mediator of this communication. A similar technique also demonstrated nerve-osteoclastic cell crosstalk [11].

Although, in the co-culture experiment, both osteoblas-tic and osteoclastic activation was observed via a1-AR as a direct response to neuronal activation, there are very few reports of a physiological role for a-AR. In MC3T3-E1 cells, a1-AR stimulation increased cell proliferation, alkaline phosphatase activity, and type III Pi transporter activity [23,24], and increased RANKL expression via protein kinase C and extracellular signal-regulated kinase pathways [25]. Recently, using whole-cell patch clamp recordings, we also found that a1B-adrenergic stimulation suppressed Cs-sensi-tive and tetraethylammonium-insensitive potassium channels in SaM-1 cells [26]. Since potassium channel activity is known to regulate membrane potential and cell prolifera-tive capacity in various cells [27—30], a1-AR stimulation may facilitate cell proliferation via a1B-AR through the regulation of potassium channels in human osteoblasts. Anyway, several in vivo and in vitro studies have demonstrated sympathomimetic effects on bone formation and resorption via osteoblastic and osteoclastic cells equipped with a- and p-ARs.

(SV:Scorpion Venom) (Fluo-3 fluorescence)

Figure 1 Nerve-induced osteoblastic or osteoclastic cell activation. (A) Representative differential interference contrast (DIC) images of the SCG-osteoblast (a) and the SCG-osteoclast (b) co-cultures. (B) Pharmacological analysis of the functional interaction between neurons and osteoblastic or osteoclastic cells in a co-culture experiment. Scorpion venom, a neurotoxin, opens neural Na+ channels to cause depolarization and increase [Ca2+]i. Then, it stimulates neurons to release neurotransmitters from the synaptic vesicles of nerve endings. If there is functional cellular interaction, the neurotransmitters released from neurons act on the receptors of osteoblastic or osteoclastic cells to increase [Ca2+],- within them as well.

3. Sympathetic effect on bone resorption

3.1. Effect of adrenergic agonists on osteoclastogenesis

Bone marrow culture techniques have been successfully employed to study the development of osteoclasts from their precursor cells. Such cultures provide an appropriate system to investigate osteotrophic hormones, cytokines, and other bone-active factors that may be involved in the generation of osteoclasts. In this culture system, receptor activator of NF-kB ligand (RANKL) and osteoprotegerin (OPG) were reported to play an essential role in osteoclastic differentiation. The expression of both proteins was reported to be regulated by several osteotrophic factors including 1a,25-dihydroxyvita-min D3 (1a,25(OH)2D3), interleukin (IL)-1a, IL-11, prostaglandin (PG)E2, transforming growth factor-p1, and parathyroid hormone [31—35]. In 2001, adrenaline and isoprenaline, p-AR agonists, have been also demonstrated to modulate osteo-clastogenesis. The involvement of RANKL and/or OPG in adrenaline-induced bone resorption was shown by determining the effect of adrenaline on the mRNA expression of RANKL and OPG in MC3T3-E1 cells and the formation of tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP)-positive multinuclear cells (MNCs) in mouse bone marrow cultures, thus providing a better understanding of the bone resorption induced by the sympathetic system [36]. Use of the RT-PCR procedure revealed that the expression of RANKL and OPG mRNAs in osteoblastic cells was regulated by adrenergic stimulation [36]. The expression of RANKL and OPG elicited by adrenaline appeared to be mediated by p-adrenergic and a-adrenergic stimulation, respectively. Treatment of mouse bone marrow

cells with adrenaline or isoprenaline generated TRAP-positive MNCs capable of excavating resorptive pits on dentine slices, and caused an increase in RANKL and a decrease in OPG production by the marrow cells [5,15,36]. The osteoclast formation was significantly inhibited by OPG, suggesting the involvement of the RANKL-RANK system. Since the osteoclas-togenesis in mouse bone marrow cells was not stimulated by an a-AR agonist, it may be regulated by the balance between RANKL and OPG production in osteoblasts/stromal cells. Fig. 2 schematically shows a possible mechanism for the adrenergic stimulation of osteoclastogenesis.

3.2. Effect of adrenergic agonists on osteoclastic activity

In neonatal mouse calvariae, AR agonists stimulated cyclic AMP (cAMP) synthesis and bone resorption in the presence of a phosphodiesterase inhibitor and an antioxidant [37]. The stimulation of cAMP synthesis by p-AR agonists was inhibited by propranolol in a bone organ culture [38]. The p-adrenergic stimulation of bone resorption might be mediated by directly activated osteoclasts and osteoclastogenesis enhanced by osteotrophic factors released from osteoblasts. In human osteoclastic cells constitutively expressing a1B-, a2B-, and p2-ARs, p-AR agonists upregulated the expression of characteristic markers of the mature osteoclast, such as integrin, carbonic anhydrase II, and cathepsin K; increased osteoclas-tic bone-resorbing activity; and clearly caused actin ring formation [39]. These findings were not obtained on treatment with a-AR agonists, and suggest that p-AR agonists directly stimulate bone-resorbing activity in mature osteo-clasts. In a clonal cell line of human osteoclast precursors

Figure 2 Schematic diagram of adrenergic action on osteoclastogenesis and osteoclastic avtivity. Both osteoblasts and osteoclasts constitutively express a1B-, a2B-and p2-ARs. Stimulation of p2-ARs increases osteoclast formation and the expression of RANKL, IL-6, IL-11, and PGE2 in bone marrow or clonal osteoblastic cells. The increase in osteoclasts is inhibited by OPG treatment, suggesting the involvement of the RANKL-RANK system in osteoclastogenesis caused by stimulating p2-ARs. The expression of RANKL and OPG in MC3T3-E1 cells is increased by stimulating p2-ARs and a-ARs, respectively. In human osteoclasts, stimulation of p-ARs activates osteoclastic activity. Thus, increased sympathetic activity stimulates osteoclast formation as well as osteoclastic activity through p2-ARs.

(FLG 29.1 cells), catecholamines were also demonstrated to act as inducers of osteoclastic maturation in vitro and as stimulators of osteoclastic activity via binding to p2-ARs [40]. As osteoclastogenesis-enhancing osteotrophic factors produced by p-adrenergic stimulation, IL-6, IL-11, and PGE2 were detected in human and mouse osteoblastic cells [36,41]. The coexpression of IL-6 and IL-11 induced by the activation of p-ARs, which appears to be a common feature of osteoblastic cells, has been shown to be mediated via a common signaling pathway involving the protein kinase A and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase systems, leading to the transcriptional activation of activator protein-1 in human osteoblastic cells. Thus, AR agonists cause the catabolic effect on bone metabolism via the p-adrenergic system. Nevertheless, Elefteriou et al. reported that isoprenaline did not stimulate cAMP production in bone marrow macrophages treated with RANKL and macrophage colony-stimulating factor [5], indicating the p-agonist to have an indirect rather than direct effect on mature osteoclasts. Further research may be necessary to gain a better understanding of how p-agonists act on mature osteoclasts.

3.3. Sympathetic regulation of bone resorption in vivo

There are several lines of evidence that the sympathetic nervous system modulates bone resorption in vivo. Surgical removal of the superior cervical ganglion increased bone resorption [42], as did chemical treatment with guanethidine in newborn rats [43]. However, in adult rats treated with guanethidine, bone resorption was reduced [44]. The reduction in bone resorption was assumed to reflect the acute

effects of the sympathectomy. By using a compartmentaliza-tion procedure, the resorption surface in the osteogenic compartment was found to be significantly reduced in the guanethidine-treated rats, accompanied by a fall in the number of osteoclasts and impaired access to the bone surface. The effect on resorption that the sympathectomy had by inhibiting preosteoclastic differentiation and disturbing osteoclastic activation suggests that depletion of sympathetic mediators could disturb osteogenic cell-mediated osteoclastic differentiation. In addition, sympathectomy-induced depletion of NA may be another possible mechanism for the reduction in bone resorption. Such a notion is supported by several significant findings including the stimulation of bone resorption in a tissue culture system [37], an increase in preosteoclastic cell activity [40], and stimulation of the synthesis of osteoclast-like cell formation-stimulating factors in osteoblastic cells by p-adrenergic stimulation [36,41].

The intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) injection of lipopoly-saccharide (LPS), an inflammatory stimulus in the brain, was demonstrated to increase output from the peripheral sympathetic nervous system. To prove the physiological role of the sympathetic nervous system in bone metabolism in vivo, RT-PCR was performed to examine the effect of an i.c.v. injection of LPS on cyclooxygenase-2 and IL-6 mRNA expression in mouse calvaria [45,46]. The expression of both mRNA was increased by the injection. The increases were inhibited by treatment with the neurotoxin 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) or p-AR antagonists. Similarly, restraint stress induced the expression of IL-6 mRNA in mouse calvaria [46]. This induction was not influenced by 6-OHDA, but was inhibited by propranolol. In addition, the treatment of calvaria with isoprenaline or NA increased PGE2 and IL-6 synthesis in the

Figure 3 Schematic diagram of bone metabolism modulated by the sympathetic nervous system. Central activation of the peripheral sympathetic nervous system caused by the intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) injection of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or leptin and by restraint stress alters bone formation and bone resorption. Centrally mediated activation of the nervous system is associated with increased catecholamine levels. Leptin-induced sympathetic activation has been reported to decrease bone formation via osteoblastic activity. Conversely, both LPS- and stress-induced activation increase the synthesis of osteoclastogenetic factors such as IL-6, and PGE2, which leads to bone resorption. Chronic stimulation of p-AR also induces bone loss due to increased osteoclastic activity rather than inhibition of bone formation.

organ culture system. These findings show that the increase in gene expression caused by a restraint stress or i.c.v. injection of LPS was mediated by the activation of sympathetic nerve fibers and p-ARs in mouse calvaria and suggest that in vivo activation of the sympathetic nervous system modulates bone resorption. Such results are strongly supported by the findings of Karsenty's group [5], who reported that p2-AR-deficient (Adrb2~'~) mice had a more severe high bone mass phenotype than wild-type mice receiving p-AR antagonists and that long-term leptin i.c.v. infusion did not reduce bone mass in Adrb2~' ~ mice. Furthermore, they showed that the sympathetic nervous system favors bone resorption by increasing the expression of RANKL and that isoprenaline enhanced the generation of osteoclasts when wild-type, but not Adrb2~'~, osteoblasts were co-cultured with wild-type bone marrow macrophages. Moreover, using osmotic minipumps implanted into the subcutaneous tissue in the back, we recently demonstrated that chronic stimulation of p-AR with low-dose iso-prenaline treatment induces bone loss due to increased osteoclastic activity rather than inhibition of bone formation [47]. Thus, these in vivo experiments modulating peripheral sympathetic nervous activity suggest that increased sympathetic nervous activity leads to increase bone resorption through p2-ARs. To integrate these recent findings, we have presented a possible mechanism for the regulation of bone metabolism via the sympathetic nervous system in Fig. 3.

3.4. Experimental and clinical evaluation of the effects of p-AR antagonists (p-blockers) on bone fracture risk

Both in vitro and in vivo experimental studies indicate p-blockers to be effective against osteoporosis attributed to

increased sympathetic nervous activity. The use of p-block-ers to inhibit bone resorption and/or to stimulate bone formation could, therefore, be an important new approach to treating osteoporosis. In population-based, case-control studies involving adult women [48], adult men and young women [49], the use of p-blockers, taken alone as well as in combination with thiazide diuretics, was demonstrated to be associated with a reduced risk of fractures. Thus, p-blockers generally do cause a reduction in bone fracture risk and higher bone mineral density. Another prospective study, however, found no association between p-blocker use and fracture risk in perimenopausal and older women [50—52]. Therefore, there is currently no convincing evidence supporting the hypothesis that pharmacological blockade of the p-adrenergic system is beneficial to the human skeleton after menopause. Although p-adrenergic stimulation can be proposed as one of the causes of osteoporosis in experimental studies, the clinical usefulness of p-blockers for fracture risk must be analyzed in several patients with increased sympathetic nervous activity. Specifically, it is important to find a difference between users and nonusers with increased sympathetic tone.

To evaluate the effectiveness of p-blockers for experimental osteoporosis with hyperactivity of the peripheral sympathetic nervous system, bone mass was analyzed in the spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR), a hypertensive model with enhanced sympathetic nervous activity. The SHR exhibited significantly decreased cancellous bone density as well as markedly increased blood pressure [53]. Specifically, bone density and strength in the lumbar spine decreased. Histochemistry showed decreased bone formation, increased numbers of osteoclasts, decreased serum levels of osteocalcin, a bone formation marker, and increased TRAP 5b activity, a systemic bone resorption marker. These

Figure 4 Schematic diagram of the p-adrenergic regulation of bone metabolism involved in bone fracture risk. Several experimental studies suggested that p-AR antagonists decreased the risk of bone fractures. Then, clinical studies showed the pharmacological effectiveness of p-blockers in reducing bone-fracture risk. Recently, in SHR showing osteoporosis as well as hypertension, the effectiveness of p-blockers against bone loss and bone fragility was confirmed. The reduced bone mass in SHR with enhanced sympathetic nerve activity is caused by increased bone resorption and decreased bone formation, as compared with control rats (WKY). The reduced bone mass is accompanied by bone fragility. The bone mass in SHR recovered to WKY's level when p2-AR was suppressed.

changes were improved with a low dose of propranolol, which has no effect on blood pressure [53]. The p-blocker timolol and selective p2-blocker butoxamine, which have no membrane-stabilizing effect, also improved the bone density. Thus, in SHR with enhanced sympathetic nerve activity, bone loss was improved by blocking p2-ARs with a low dose of p-blockers (Fig. 4). These results are similar to the effects of propranolol, as observed by Bonnet et al. [54] in ovariecto-mized (OVX) rats. The results may be associated with enhanced sympathetic activity in OVX rats.

4. Physiological modification of sympathetic effect on bone resorption

4.1. Neuropeptides modifying adrenergic osteoclastogenesis in vitro

In mammalian species, nerve fibers containing several neuropeptides, such as NPY, CGRP, VIP, and SP, as well as NA, a classical neurotransmitter, have been identified in the vicinity of bone tissue [55—58]. In accordance with the neuro-osteogenic hypothesis, these neuropeptides can be released from nerve endings and transmit physiological signals to osteoblastic and osteoclastic cells present close by. Although these neuropeptides produce significant osteotropic effects on bone metabolism [12,13], NPY and CGRP have been demonstrated to modulate osteoclastogenesis elicited by adrenergic stimulation [14,15].

NPYis co-localized with NAin sympathetic nerve terminals [59—62] and recognized as a co-transmitter with NA in peripheral sympathetic nerve fibers. Studies have revealed that NPY inhibits cAMP production in the target cell [63,64]. Indeed, NPY inhibited the stimulatory effect of NA on cAMP in UMR-106-01 cells and isolated bone cells [65]. In addition, NPY has been demonstrated to inhibit p-adrenergic- or VIPergic-stimulated accumulation of cAMP in the pineal gland, which is mediated through a pertussis toxin-sensitive G protein. Recently, the effect of NPY on osteoclastogenesis has been demonstrated in mouse bone marrow cell cultures treated with isoprenaline [14]. The mouse bone marrow cells constitutively expressed mRNAs for the NPY-Y1 receptor and p2-AR. NPY inhibited the formation of osteoclast-like cells induced by isoprenaline but not by 1a,25(OH)2D3 or soluble RANKL; and suppressed the production of RANKL and cAMP increased by isoprenaline but not by 1a,25(OH)2D3. NPYalso inhibited osteoclastogenesis induced by forskolin, an activator of adenylate cyclase; but not that induced by dibutyryl cAMP, a cell-permeable cAMP analog that activates cAMP-

Figure 5 Schematic diagram of a working hypothesis for the possible interaction between sympathetic and sensory neurons. Stimulation of sympathetic neurons as well as denervation of sensory neurons causes bone loss via an increase in bone resorption and a decrease in bone formation. The strong resemblance between sensory denervation and sympathetic hyperfunction, suggests that sensory activity functionally interacts with the sympathetic activity in bone metabolism. Black arrow: effects on osteoblastic bone formation; white arrow: effects on osteoclastic bone resorption.

dependent protein kinases. These results demonstrate that NPY inhibited isoprenaline-induced osteoclastogenesis by blocking agonist-elicited increases in the production of cAMP and RANKL in mouse bone marrow cells, suggesting an interaction between NPY and p-AR agonists in bone resorption. The present results indicate NPY to be a specific inhibitor of p2-AR agonist-induced osteoclastic formation. The physiological relevance of this observation is that NPY substantially co-existed with NA in the sympathetic nerve terminals to control the p-adrenergic stimulation of NA released simultaneously; because similar effects of NPY had been observed in the cells and tissues controlled by p-adrenergic regulation.

CGRP is a neuropeptide abundant in sensory neurons innervating the skeleton and regulates bone integrity. CGRP has been demonstrated to inhibit the bone-resorbing activity of isolated osteoclasts [66,67], and calcium release in bone tissue cultures [68,69]. It also significantly inhibited 1a,25(OH)2D3-induced osteoclastogenesis in macrophages [70]. In bone marrow cell cultures, CGRP inhibited the formation of osteoclasts caused by isoprenaline or soluble RANKL but had no influence on RANKL or OPG production by the bone marrow cells treated with isoprenaline, suggesting that CGRP inhibited the osteoclastogenesis by interfering with the action of RANKL produced by the isoprenaline-treated bone marrow cells without affecting RANKL or OPG production [15]. Thus, the p-AR agonist generated osteoclasts from mouse bone marrow cells via the RANKL-RANK system. Also, CGRP significantly inhibited this RANKL-mediated osteoclastogenesis by interfering with the action of RANKL in bone marrow macrophages [71]. Although these in vitro data suggest the physiological interaction of sympathetic and sensory nerves in osteoclastogenesis in vivo, the physiological significance remains to be established.

4.2. Relationship between the sympathetic and sensory nervous systems

Substantial evidence has accumulated that sympathetic nervous activity causes bone loss via an increase in bone resorption and a decrease in bone formation. Sympathetic denervation is known to be associated with a significant increase in the number of CGRP-immunoreactive sensory nerve fibers [72]. p-AR blockers not only improve bone loss in SHRwith hyperactivity of the peripheral sympathetic tone [53] but also increase the release of CGRP from sensory nerve fibers in SHR [73]. Furthermore, like p-blocker, CGRP partially inhibits bone loss in OVX rats [74]. These studies may suggest physiological interaction between sympathetic and sensory nerves in bone metabolism.

The effects of sensory denervation on bone metabolism are usually examined in animals treated with capsaicin, which destroys unmyelinated and small-diameter myelinated sensory neurons via the activation of transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 expressed by sensory neurons. There are less SP-containing nerve fibers than CGRP-containing nerve fibers [75], so the sensory nerve fibers ablated by capsaicin are mainly CGRP-containing nerve fibers. Capsaicin treatment caused the destruction of the skeletal structure in adult rats [76,77]. In our experiment [77], it reduced trabe-cular bone volume due to increased trabecular separation in the proximal tibia and the modification of mechanical

properties such as strength, ductility, and toughness toward increasing bone fragility in the trunk of the sixth lumber vertebrae. Bone histomorphometry showed an increase in osteoclast numbers and surface area. Capsaicin significantly increased the level of TRAP 5b in plasma but had no influence on the plasma osteocalcin concentration suggesting that capsaicin-induced sensory nerve denervation increased bone resoption but had no influence on bone formation. These results show that sensory nerve innervation contributes to the maintenance of trabecular bone mass and its mechanical properties by inhibiting bone resorption.

Thus, there is a strong resemblance between sensory denervation and sympathetic activation in bone metabolism, suggesting that a sensory activity functionally interacts with the sympathetic activity in osteoclastic formation. Fig. 5 schematically represents a working hypothesis for the possible interaction of sympathetic and sensory neurons.

5. Concluding remarks

An in vitro co-culture experiment demonstrated that the responses to osteoblastic and osteoclastic cells produced by neural stimulation were inhibited by AR antagonists, suggesting that synaptic transmission occurs from nerve terminals to these cells. Specifically, the peripheral nerve may be functionally and directly connected to the osteoblastic and osteo-clastic cells for regulating bone metabolism in vivo. If osteoblastic activation is judged by cAMP, instead of the Ca2+ used in our study, it would be possible to analyze the molecular mechanism behind the communication mediated by NA acting through p-ARs. There is currently great interest in comparing the cellular interaction with other cellular interactions, and in elucidating the physiological regulation of NA secretion in neuro-osteogenic synapses. Thus, the in vitro co-culture model is useful for studying the molecular mechanism responsible for the neuro-osteogenic cross-talk. In SHR with hyperactivity of the sympathetic nervous system, bone mass and biomechanical fragility were markedly reduced by increased bone resorption and decreased bone formation, and improved by the p-blocker propranolol at lower doses than those required to improve hypertension. Hypertension is often accompanied by enhanced sympathetic nerve activity and reduced bone mass. Comprehensive investigation may be necessary to understand the mutual relationship among calcium metabolism, bone metabolism, hypertension, and sympathetic nerve activity. Notably, sympathetic regulation of bone metabolism may be modified by sensory nervous activity, as described in this article. Although there is currently great interest in physiological modifications to signal transduction and the synaptic integrity of sympathetic and sensory neurons, further studies should clarify the mechanisms responsible for these modifications in peripheral nervous systems and give further insight into the neural regulation in bone metabolism.

Acknowledgements

We are grateful to Shoko Imamura for excellent technical assistance. Our studies mentioned in this review were partly supported by a grant-in-aid for AGU High-Tech Research Center Project for Private Universities: matching fund subsidy from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology

(MEXT: 2003—2007), by a grant-in-aid from Strategic Research

AGU-Plantform Formation (2008—2012), and by grants-in-aid

from MEXT (14571782 and 17591956to AT).

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