Age and gender specific stimulation of creatine kinase specific activity by gonadal steroids in human bone-derived cells in culture

S. Katzburg, A. Ornoy, D. Hendel, M. Lieberherr, A. M. Kaye, D. Somjen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


We previously reported a non-enzymatic method for isolation of human bone cells in culture that display osteoblastic features and respond to 1,25 dihydroxy vitamin D (1,25) and to parathyroid hormone (PTH). The present study was undertaken to analyze the response of cultured human bone cells to 17β-estradiol (E2) and to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) as a function of gender and age. Cultured human bone cells, obtained from biopsies during orthopedic surgery, were divided into four groups defined by gender and age: pre- and post-menopausal healthy non-osteoporotic women that were not under hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and mature (<55-year-old) and older (>60-year-old) men. We found gender specific responses to gonadal steroids using the specific activity of the brain type (BB) isozyme of creatine kinase (CK) as a response marker. Constitutive levels of CK activity did not change with age or gender and the enzyme extracted from cells from the different sexes and ages did not respond to either progesterone (P) or to 1,25. CK from the different cells responded to gonadal steroids in a gender specific manner, i.e. CK from female derived cells responded to E2 only and the enzyme from male derived cells responded to DHT only. In female derived cells the response to E2 declined significantly with age, while the response to DHT in CK from male derived cells did not vary with age. This may be due to either decreased proportion of mature osteoblasts and/or their differentiation state and/or changes in the levels of estrogen receptor(s), coactivators or corepressors in these cells. These results extend our knowledge of human osteoblast biology (beyond murine cells) and are therefore more relevant for developing models for treatment of human metabolic bone diseases such as post-menopausal osteoporosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)166-172
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Endocrinological Investigation
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Bone
  • Creatine kinase
  • Gonadal steroids
  • Human


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