Decreased response of osteoblasts obtained from aged Cohen diabetic sensitive rats to sex steroid hormones and 1,25(OH)2 D3 in culture

Asher Ornoy, Perchia Yaffe, Sarah W. Zangen, Nathan Patlas, Zvi Schwartz

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Patients with diabetes mellitus are known to develop osteopenia and osteoporosis, apparently as a reduction in the process of bone formation. In order to evaluate whether bone-modulating hormones - estradiol, testosterone, and 1,25(OH)2D3 - have different effects on osteoblasts derived from diabetic and from normal non-diabetic rats, we studied the specific effects of these hormones on the differentiation and function of cultured osteoblasts derived from 1-year-old Cohen diabetic rats. (The Cohen diabetic model consists of a diabetic-sensitive strain [CDs; diabetic] and a diabetic-resistant strain [CDr; normal]). The CDs and CDr male and female rats were fed on a regular diet (RD) or a high-sucrose low-copper diet (HSD; diabetogenic). On the HSD diet, only CD rats develop type 2 diabetes, while CDr do not. Bones were removed for primary osteoblast cultures, and osteoblastic responses to the bone-modulation hormones - estradiol, testosterone, and 1,25(OH)2D3 - were studied. In male rats fed RD, primary cultures of osteoblasts without hormone addition to the culture medium showed that alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity was similar in the Cohen diabetic rats (both CDr and CDs) to that of the original Sabra strain. However, collagen synthesis was reduced in the CDr and CDs compared to the Sabra strain. The addition of the hormones to the culture medium did not change ALP activity or collagen synthesis in the male-derived osteoblasts, but increased mineralization in all strains. In female rats (studied only in CDs and CDr animals) there were no differences between animals fed the RD. HSD increased the basal activity of ALP in the CDr but not in the CDs rats, and decreased the rate of collagen synthesis in both CDr and CDs (diabetic) animals. The addition of the bone-modulation hormones to the culture medium further increased ALP activity in the osteoblasts derived from the CDr animals, while decreasing ALP activity in the CDs. These hormones also decreased collagen synthesis in both strains and increased mineralization in all osteoblasts. In conclusion, the metabolic status (HSD and diabetes) in rats prior to culture affected the phenotype of cultured osteoblasts, decreasing their response to bone-modulation hormones. This decreased response, especially to estradiol, may be a major cause of the osteopenia observed in diabetes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-43
Number of pages6
JournalOdontology / the Society of the Nippon Dental University
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Alkaline phosphatase
  • CDs and CDr rats
  • Collagen
  • Diabetes
  • Mineralization
  • Osteoblast culture


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