Author(s): Tezval M, Tezval H, Dresing K, Stuermer EK, Blaschke M,
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Abstract Urocortin-1 (UCN) a corticotropin releasing-factor (CRF) related peptide, has been found to be expressed in many different tissues like the central nervous system, the cardiovascular system, adipose tissue, and skeletal muscle. The effects of UCN are mediated via stimulation of CRF-receptors 1 and 2 (CRFR1 and 2, CRFR's) with a high affinity for CRFR2. It has been shown that the CRF-related peptides and CRFR's are involved in the regulation of stress-related endocrine, autonomic and behavioural responses. Using immunocytochemistry, immunohistochemistry and RT-PCR, we now can show the differentiation dependent expression of UCN mRNA and peptide in human mesenchymal progenitor cells (MSCs) directed to the osteoblastic phenotype for the first time. UCN expression was down regulated by TGF-beta and BMP-2 in the early proliferation phase of osteoblast development, whereas dexamethasone (dex) minimally induced UCN gene expression during matrix maturation after 24 h stimulation. Stimulation of MSCs for 28 days with ascorbate/beta-glycerophosphate (asc/bGp) induced UCN gene expression at day 14. This effect was prevented when using 1,25-vitamin D3 or dex in addition. There was no obvious correlation to osteocalcin (OCN) gene expression in these experiments. In MSCs from patients with metabolic bone disease (n = 9) UCN gene expression was significantly higher compared to MSCs from normal controls (n = 6). Human MSCs did not express any of the CRFR's during differentiation to osteoblasts. Our results indicate that UCN is produced during the development of MSCs to osteoblasts and differentially regulated during culture as well as by differentiation factors. The expression is maximal between proliferation and matrix maturation phase. However, UCN does not seem to act on the osteoblast itself as shown by the missing CRFR's. Our results suggest new perspectives on the role of urocortin in human skeletal tissue in health and disease.
This article was published in J Mol Histol
and referenced in Journal of Osteoporosis and Physical Activity