Osteoclasts are large, multinucleated cells that are responsible for the breakdown or resorption of bone during bone remodelling. Studies have shown that certain fatty acids (FAs) can increase bone formation, reduce bone loss, and influence total bone mass. Palmitoleic acid (PLA) is a 16-carbon, monounsaturated FA that has shown anti-inflammatory properties similar to other FAs. The effects of PLA in bone remain unexplored. Here we investigated the effects of PLA on receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) ligand (RANKL)-induced osteoclast formation and bone resorption in RAW264.7 murine macrophages. PLA decreased the number of large, multinucleated tartrate resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP) positive osteoclasts and furthermore, suppressed the osteolytic capability of these osteoclasts. This was accompanied by a decrease in expression of resorption markers (Trap
, matrix metalloproteinase 9 (Mmp9
), cathepsin K (Ctsk
)). PLA further decreased the expression of genes involved in the formation and function of osteoclasts. Additionally, PLA inhibited NF-κB activity and the activation of mitogen activated protein kinases (MAPK), c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) and extracellular signal–regulated kinase (ERK). Moreover, PLA induced apoptosis in mature osteoclasts. This study reveals that PLA inhibits RANKL-induced osteoclast formation in RAW264.7 murine macrophages through suppression of NF-κB and MAPK signalling pathways. This may indicate that PLA has potential as a therapeutic for bone diseases characterized by excessive osteoclast formation.
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