Cyclic tensile force modifies calvarial osteoblast function via the interplay between ERK1/2 and STAT3

BMC Mol Cell Biol. 2023 Mar 8;24(1):9. doi: 10.1186/s12860-023-00471-8.


BACKGROUND: Mechanical therapies, such as distraction osteogenesis, are widely used in dental clinics. During this process, the mechanisms by which tensile force triggers bone formation remain of interest. Herein, we investigated the influence of cyclic tensile stress on osteoblasts and identified the involvement of ERK1/2 and STAT3.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Rat clavarial osteoblasts were subjected to tensile loading (10% elongation, 0.5 Hz) for different time periods. RNA and protein levels of osteogenic markers were determined using qPCR and western blot after inhibition of ERK1/2 and STAT3. ALP activity and ARS staining revealed osteoblast mineralization capacity. The interaction between ERK1/2 and STAT3 was investigated by immunofluorescence, western blot, and Co-IP.

RESULTS: The results showed that tensile loading significantly promoted osteogenesis-related genes, proteins and mineralized nodules. In loading-induced osteoblasts, inhibition of ERK1/2 or STAT3 decreased osteogenesis-related biomarkers significantly. Moreover, ERK1/2 inhibition suppressed STAT3 phosphorylation, and STAT3 inhibition disrupted the nuclear translocation of pERK1/2 induced by tensile loading. In the non-loading environment, inhibition of ERK1/2 hindered osteoblast differentiation and mineralization, while STAT3 phosphorylation was elevated after ERK1/2 inhibition. STAT3 inhibition also increased ERK1/2 phosphorylation, but did not significantly affect osteogenesis-related factors.

CONCLUSION: Taken together, these data suggested that ERK1/2 and STAT3 interacted in osteoblasts. ERK1/2-STAT3 were sequentially activated by tensile force loading, and both affected osteogenesis during the process.

PMID:36890454 | PMC:PMC9996996 | DOI:10.1186/s12860-023-00471-8


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