Mechanisms of palmitate-induced cell death in human osteoblasts.

Gunaratnam K1, Vidal C, Boadle R, Thekkedam C, Duque G
Source: Other
Publication Date: (2013)
Issue: 2(12): 1382-9
Research Area:
Basic Research
Cells used in publication:
Osteoblast, (NHOst) human
Species: human
Tissue Origin: bone
Culture Media:
Lipotoxicity is an overload of lipids in non-adipose tissues that affects function and induces cell death. Lipotoxicity has been demonstrated in bone cells in vitro using osteoblasts and adipocytes in coculture. In this condition, lipotoxicity was induced by high levels of saturated fatty acids (mostly palmitate) secreted by cultured adipocytes acting in a paracrine manner. In the present study, we aimed to identify the underlying mechanisms of lipotoxicity in human osteoblasts. Palmitate induced autophagy in cultured osteoblasts, which was preceded by the activation of autophagosomes that surround palmitate droplets. Palmitate also induced apoptosis though the activation of the Fas/Jun kinase (JNK) apoptotic pathway. In addition, osteoblasts could be protected from lipotoxicity by inhibiting autophagy with the phosphoinositide kinase inhibitor 3-methyladenine or by inhibiting apoptosis with the JNK inhibitor SP600125. In summary, we have identified two major molecular mechanisms of lipotoxicity in osteoblasts and in doing so we have identified a new potential therapeutic approach to prevent osteoblast dysfunction and death, which are common features of age-related bone loss and osteoporosis