High dose glucocorticoid (GC) administration impairs the viability and function of osteoblasts, thus causing osteoporosis and osteonecrosis. Neuropeptide Y1 receptor (Y1 receptor) is expressed in bone tissues and cells, and regulates bone remodeling. However, the role of Y1 receptor in glucocorticoid-induced inhibition of osteoblast differentiation remains unknown. In the present study, osteoblastic cell line MC3T3-E1 cultured in osteogenic differentiation medium was treated with or without of 10−7
M dexamethasone (Dex), Y1 receptor shRNA interference, Y1 receptor agonist [Leu31
]-NPY, and antagonist BIBP3226. Cell proliferation and apoptosis were assessed by cell counting kit-8 (CCK-8) assay and cleaved caspase expression, respectively. Osteoblast differentiation was evaluated by Alizarin Red S staining and osteogenic marker gene expressions. Protein expression was detected by Western blot analysis. Dex upregulated the expression of Y1 receptor in MC3T3-E1 cells associated with reduced osteogenic gene expressions and mineralization. Blockade of Y1 receptor by shRNA transfection and BIBP3226 significantly attenuated the inhibitory effects of Dex on osteoblastic activity. Y1 receptor signaling modulated the activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERK) as well as the expressions of osteogenic genes. Y1 receptor agonist inhibited ERK phosphorylation and osteoblast differentiation, while Y1 receptor blockade exhibited the opposite effects. Activation of ERK signaling by constitutive active mutant of MEK1
(caMEK) abolished Y1 receptor-mediated Dex inhibition of osteoblast differentiation in MC3T3-E1 cells. Taken together, Y1 receptor regulates Dex-induced inhibition of osteoblast differentiation in murine MC3T3-E1 cells via ERK signaling. This study provides a novel role of Y1 receptor in the process of GC-induced suppression in osteoblast survival and differentiation.
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