||Cyclic mechanical stretch contributes to network development of osteocyte-like cells with morphological change and autophagy promotion but without preferential cell alignment in rat
Inaba, Nao Kuroshima, Shinichiro ,
Uto, Yusuke ,
Sasaki, MuneteruSawase, Takashi
Biochemistry and Biophysics Reports
197 , 2017-09 , Elsevier B.V.
Osteocytes play important roles in controlling bone quality as well as preferential alignment of biological apatite c-axis/collagen fibers. However, the relationship between osteocytes and mechanical stress remains unclear due to the difficulty of three-dimensional (3D) culture of osteocytes in vitro. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of cyclic mechanical stretch on 3D-cultured osteocyte-like cells. Osteocyte-like cells were established using rat calvarial osteoblasts cultured in a 3D culture system. Cyclic mechanical stretch (8% amplitude at a rate of 2 cycles min−1) was applied for 24, 48 and 96 consecutive hours. Morphology, cell number and preferential cell alignment were evaluated. Apoptosis- and autophagy-related gene expression levels were measured using quantitative PCR. 3D-cultured osteoblasts became osteocyte-like cells that expressed osteocyte-specific genes such as Dmp1, Cx43, Sost, Fgf23 and RANKL, with morphological changes similar to osteocytes. Cell number was significantly decreased in a time-dependent manner under non-loaded conditions, whereas cyclic mechanical stretch significantly prevented decreased cell numbers with increased expression of anti-apoptosis-related genes. Moreover, cyclic mechanical stretch significantly decreased cell size and ellipticity with increased expression of autophagy-related genes, LC3b and atg7. Interestingly, preferential cell alignment did not occur, irrespective of mechanical stretch. These findings suggest that an anti-apoptotic effect contributes to network development of osteocyte-like cells under loaded condition. Spherical change of osteocyte-like cells induced by mechanical stretch may be associated with autophagy upregulation. Preferential alignment of osteocytes induced by mechanical load in vivo may be partially predetermined before osteoblasts differentiate into osteocytes and embed into bone matrix.