Osteocytes, the most important regulators of bone processes, are producers of molecules (usually proteins) that act as signals in order to communicate with nearby cells. These factors control cell division (proliferation), differentiation, and survival. Substantial evidence showed different signaling pathways activated by osteocytes and involved in osteoblast differentiation, in particular in the last decade, when the Wingless-related integration site (WNT) pathway assumed a critical large importance. WNT activation by inhibiting glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK-3) causes bone anabolism, making GSK3 a potential therapeutic target for bone diseases. In our study, we hypothesized an important role of the osteocyte MLO-Y4 conditioned medium in controlling the differentiation process of osteoblast cell line 2T3. We found an effect of diminished differentiation capability of 2T3 upon conditioning with medium from murine long bone osteocyte-Y4 cells (MLO-Y4) pre-treated with GSK3 inhibitor CHIR2201. The novel observations of this study provide knowledge about the inhibition of GSK3 in MLO-Y4 cells. This strategy could be used as a plausible target in osteocytes in order to regulate bone resorption mediated by a loss of osteoblasts activity through a paracrine loop.
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