Bone loss and fracture are leading causes of morbidity with aging. The mechanisms of age-related bone disease have not been defined. Our studies suggest that CSF-1 deficiency and increased Nox4 oxidase expression in osteocytes are key determinants of oxidant stress that impact osteocyte survival/function that is essential for bone remodeling. The long-term goal of this proposal is to delineate mechanistic pathways by which CSF-1/oxidative stress regulate osteocyte homeostasis and identify therapeutic targets to prevent bone loss with age. CSF-1 and CSF-1R are expressed by osteocytes. The mechanisms by which CSF-1 or its isoforms, soluble (s) and cell-surface (cs) CSF-1, regulate osteocyte survival/function have not been explored. Oxidative stress contributes to osteocyte demise and bone loss with aging. Our findings indicate that, with aging, CSF-1 expression declines in osteocytes. We generated mice with global CSF-1 deficiency (CSF-1KO) that show osteopetrosis with increased fractures and osteocyte defects including apoptosis, associated with increased NADPH oxidase Nox4 expression/activity and reduced Cx43 expression. CSF-1 decreases NADPH oxidase activity in cultured osteocytes and CSF-1KO bone osteocytes show elevated Nox4 and activation of the mTOR pathway compared to WT osteocytes, suggesting that CSF-1 protects from oxidant stress. DMP1Cre-CSF-1cKO mice with conditional knockout (cKO) of CSF-1 in osteocytes/late osteoblasts also show increased Nox4, osteocyte defects, reduced osteoclasts and bone formation, predisposing to bone loss and fracture with age. We hypothesize that: a) osteocyte cKO of CSF-1 increases Nox4 and oxidative stress, impairs osteocytes and accelerates bone defects with age, b) deletion of Nox4 in CSF-1cKO osteocytes decreases oxidative stress, restores osteocyte function/bone remodeling with age, c) expression of sCSF-1 in CSF-1cKO osteocytes promotes osteocyte survival and proper bone remodeling to a greater extent than csCSF-1 during aging. We will test these hypotheses in the following specific aims: 1) Determine the effect of CSF-1cKO in osteocytes on bone phenotype and redox state during aging. WT and CSF-1cKO mice will be examined for bone phenotype and osteocytes will be assessed for apoptosis, Nox4 and gene expression profile; 2) Determine the role of Nox4 in osteocytes of CSF-1cKO mice and mechanisms by which CSF-1 regulates osteocyte survival. To dissect the interplay between CSF-1 and Nox4, mice with cKO of CSF-1 and Nox4 in osteocytes will be generated and signaling mechanisms by which CSF-1 regulates osteocyte survival will be analyzed in cultured osteocytes; 3) Determine the ability of CSF-1 isoforms to rescue bone defects in CSF-1cKO mice. This will be accomplished using a transgenic approach to target sCSF-1 or csCSF-1 in osteocytes of CSF-1cKO mice. These studies will provide new mechanistic insights by which CSF-1 controls osteocyte survival/function and may lead to novel therapeutic strategies for improving osteocyte viability crucial for bone strength and longevity.
Bone loss and fracture are leading causes of morbidity with aging; however, the mechanisms of age-related bone disease have not been defined. We believe that deficiency of Colony Stimulating Factor-1 (CSF-1) and increased Nox4 oxidase expression in osteocytes are key determinants of oxidative stress that impact osteocyte survival/function that is essential for bone remodeling. This proposal will delineate mechanistic pathways by which CSF-1/oxidative stress regulate osteocyte homeostasis and may identify novel therapeutic targets for improving osteocyte viability crucial for bone strength and longevity.
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