Thyrostimulin Regulates Osteoblastic Bone Formation During Early Skeletal Development

Endocrinology. 2015 Sep;156(9):3098-113. doi: 10.1210/en.2014-1943. Epub 2015 May 27.


The ancestral glycoprotein hormone thyrostimulin is a heterodimer of unique glycoprotein hormone subunit alpha (GPA)2 and glycoprotein hormone subunit beta (GPB)5 subunits with high affinity for the TSH receptor. Transgenic overexpression of GPB5 in mice results in cranial abnormalities, but the role of thyrostimulin in bone remains unknown. We hypothesized that thyrostimulin exerts paracrine actions in bone and determined: 1) GPA2 and GPB5 expression in osteoblasts and osteoclasts, 2) the skeletal consequences of thyrostimulin deficiency in GPB5 knockout (KO) mice, and 3) osteoblast and osteoclast responses to thyrostimulin treatment. Gpa2 and Gpb5 expression was identified in the newborn skeleton but declined rapidly thereafter. GPA2 and GPB5 mRNAs were also expressed in primary osteoblasts and osteoclasts at varying concentrations. Juvenile thyrostimulin-deficient mice had increased bone volume and mineralization as a result of increased osteoblastic bone formation. However, thyrostimulin failed to induce a canonical cAMP response or activate the noncanonical Akt, ERK, or mitogen-activated protein kinase (P38) signaling pathways in primary calvarial or bone marrow stromal cell-derived osteoblasts. Furthermore, thyrostimulin did not directly inhibit osteoblast proliferation, differentiation or mineralization in vitro. These studies identify thyrostimulin as a negative but indirect regulator of osteoblastic bone formation during skeletal development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone Density
  • Bone and Bones / metabolism*
  • CHO Cells
  • Calcification, Physiologic
  • Cricetinae
  • Cricetulus
  • Female
  • Glycoproteins / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Osteoblasts / metabolism*
  • Osteoclasts / metabolism*
  • Osteogenesis*
  • Paracrine Communication
  • Phenotype
  • Receptors, Thyrotropin / metabolism
  • Thyrotropin / metabolism


  • Glycoproteins
  • Receptors, Thyrotropin
  • thyrostimulin
  • Thyrotropin