Responsiveness of gene expression markers of osteoblastic and osteoclastic activity to calcitonin in the appendicular and axial skeleton of the rat in vivo

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Cell Biology

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Acid Phosphatase; Alkaline Phosphatase; Animals; Bone Density; Bone and Bones; Calcitonin; Cell Division; Collagen; Femur; Gene Expression Regulation; Glycoproteins; Histamine; Male; Osteoblasts; Osteocalcin; Osteoclasts; RNA, Messenger; Rats; Rats, Sprague-Dawley; Spine


Cell Biology


We have previously shown that calcitonin (CT), an inhibitor of bone resorption, increases vertebral, but not femoral bone density in the rat. To address the physiologic responses associated with these effects on bone mineral density (BMD), we assessed mRNA transcripts reflecting activities of osteoblasts (type I collagen, osteocalcin, osteopontin, and alkaline phosphatase), osteoclasts [tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP)], and cell proliferation (histone H4) in the spine and femur of these rats. CT increased spine BMD while increasing type I collagen and decreasing TRAP and histone mRNAs. In the femur, where CT had no effect on BMD, it decreased type I collagen and histone H4 mRNA but did not affect TRAP. CT had no effect on the gene expression of osteocalcin, osteopontin, or alkaline phosphatase at either site. The results indicate that selective alterations in gene expression, as reflected by steady state mRNA levels, are consistent with the changes observed by BMD measurement, and can more clearly define the specific contribution from osteoblast and osteoclast activity. This study demonstrates a heterogeneity in response of the axial and appendicular skeleton to CT, reflected by alterations in gene expression that provide a basis for understanding the observed BMD responses to various pharmacologic interventions.


Calcif Tissue Int. 1994 Jun;54(6):511-5.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Calcified tissue international

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