Androgen-induced mineralization by MC3T3-E1 osteoblastic cells reveals a critical window of hormone responsiveness

Wayne Balkan, Kerry L Burnstein, Paul C Schiller, Carlos Perez-Stable, Gianluca D'Ippolito, Guy A Howard, Bernard A Roos
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 2005 March 18, 328 (3): 783-9
Despite their clinical importance for skeletal growth and homeostasis, the actions of androgens on osteoblastic cells are not well understood. MC3T3-E1 cells, a nontransformed murine preosteoblastic cell line, that traverse the stages of osteoblastic differentiation within 30 days in vitro, were exposed to mibolerone (an androgen receptor (AR) agonist) or 5alpha-dihydroxytestosterone (DHT) from days 3 to 30 post-plating. Cells exposed to this hormonal regimen exhibited a significant increase in mineralization (calcium deposition) compared to vehicle-treated cells. Delaying treatment for 4-11 days (treatment still completed on day 30 post-plating) enhanced mineralization further. Within 2 days post-plating, AR protein increased 7.2-fold in androgen-treated cells and 2.5-fold in vehicle-treated cells. MC3T3-E1 cells transfected with an androgen- and glucocorticoid-responsive reporter construct on day 1 post-plating followed by a 2 day exposure to DHT, mibolerone, or dexamethasone (dex; a glucocorticoid receptor agonist) exhibited reporter gene activation only with dex treatment. In contrast, delaying transfection and treatment for at least 1 day resulted in comparable androgen- and dex-mediated reporter gene transactivation. Therefore, the ability of MC3T3-E1 cells to respond to androgens is dependent on the timing of androgen administration.

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