Timur A. Yorgan, Timo Heckt, Carsten Rendenbach, Christina Helmis, Sebastian Seitz, Thomas Streichert, Michael Amling, Thorsten Schinke
Consistent with clinical observations demonstrating that hypervitaminosis A is associated with increased skeletal fracture risk, we have previously found that dietary retinol deprivation partially corrects the bone mineralization defects in a mouse model of X-linked hypophosphatemic rickets. That retinol-dependent signaling pathways impact the skeleton is further supported by various findings demonstrating a negative influence of retinoic acid (RA) on bone-forming osteoblasts. We hypothesized that RA would directly regulate the expression of specific target genes in osteoblasts, and we aimed to identify these by genome-wide expression analyses. Here we show that high dietary retinol intake in mice causes low bone mass associated with increased osteoclastogenesis and decreased osteoblastogenesis, but intact bone matrix mineralization. We additionally found that short-term treatment of primary osteoblasts with RA causes a rapid induction of specific genes involved in either retinol-dependent signaling (i.e. Rara, Crabp2) or skeletal remodeling (i.e. Twist2,Tnfsf11). In contrast, neither expression of established osteoblast differentiation markers nor the proliferation rate was immediately affected by RA administration. Collectively, our data suggest that the negative effects of vitamin A on skeletal integrity are explainable by an immediate influence of RA signaling on specific genes in osteoblasts that in turn influence bone remodeling.