Mutations and/or deletions of Pkd1 in mouse models resulted in attenuation of osteoblast function and defective bone formation; however, the function of PKD1 in human osteoblast and bone remains uncertain. In the current study, we used lentivirus-mediated shRNA technology to stably knock down PKD1 in the human osteoblastic MG-63 cell line and to investigate the role of PKD1 on human osteoblast function and molecular mechanisms. We found that a 53% reduction of PKD1 by PKD1 shRNA in stable, transfected MG-63 cells resulted in increased cell proliferation and impaired osteoblastic differentiation as reflected by increased BrdU incorporation, decreased alkaline phosphatase activity, and calcium deposition and by decreased expression of RUNX2 and OSTERIX compared to control shRNA MG-63 cells. In addition, knockdown of PKD1 mRNA caused enhanced adipogenesis in stable PKD1 shRNA MG-63 cells as evidenced by elevated lipid accumulation and increased expression of adipocyte-related markers such as PPARγ and aP2. The stable PKD1 shRNA MG-63 cells exhibited lower basal intracellular calcium, which led to attenuated cytosolic calcium signaling in response to fluid flow shear stress, as well as increased intracellular cAMP messages in response to forskolin (10 µM) stimulation. Moreover, increased cell proliferation, inhibited osteoblastic differentiation, and osteogenic and adipogenic gene markers were significantly reversed in stable PKD1 shRNA MG-63 cells when treated with H89 (1 µM), an inhibitor of PKA. These findings suggest that downregulation of PKD1 in human MG-63 cells resulted in defective osteoblast function via intracellular calcium-cAMP/PKA signaling pathway.
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