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Overexpression of RANKL in osteoblasts: a possible mechanism of susceptibility to bone disease in cystic fibrosis

Abstract : Bone fragility and loss are a significant cause of morbidity in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF), and the lack of effective therapeutic options means that treatment is more often palliative rather than curative. A deeper understanding of the pathogenesis of CF-related bone disease (CFBD) is necessary to develop new therapies. Defective CF transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) protein and chronic inflammation in bone are important components of the CFBD development. The receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa-B ligand (RANKL) and osteoprotegerin (OPG) drive the regulation of bone turnover. To investigate their roles in CFBD, we evaluated the involvement of defective CFTR in their production level in CF primary human osteoblasts with and without inflammatory stimulation, in the presence or not of pharmacological correctors of the CFTR. No major difference in cell ultrastructure was noted between cultured CF and non-CF osteoblasts, but a delayed bone matrix mineralization was observed in CF osteoblasts. Strikingly, resting CF osteoblasts exhibited strong production of RANKL protein, which was highly localized at the cell membrane and was enhanced in TNF (TNF-í µí»‚) or IL-17-stimulated conditions. Under TNF stimulation, a defective response in OPG production was observed in CF osteoblasts in contrast to the elevated OPG production of non-CF osteoblasts, leading to an elevated RANKL-to-OPG protein ratio in CF osteoblasts. Pharmacological inhibition of CFTR chloride channel conductance in non-CF osteoblasts replicated both the decreased OPG production and the enhanced RANKL-to-OPG ratio. Interestingly, using CFTR correctors such as C18, we significantly reduced the production of RANKL by CF osteoblasts, in both resting and TNF-stimulated conditions. In conclusion, the overexpression of RANKL and high membranous RANKL localization in osteoblasts are related to defective CFTR, and may worsen bone resorption, leading to bone loss in patients with CF. Targeting osteoblasts with CFTR correctors may represent an effective strategy to treat CFBD.
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Submitted on : Friday, November 18, 2016 - 10:50:22 AM
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Martial Delion, Julien Braux, Marie-Laure Jourdain, Christine Guillaume, Camille Bour, et al.. Overexpression of RANKL in osteoblasts: a possible mechanism of susceptibility to bone disease in cystic fibrosis. Journal of Pathology, Wiley, 2016, 240, pp.50 - 60. ⟨10.1002/path.4753⟩. ⟨inserm-01399007⟩



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