In Vitro Effects of Pioglitazone on the Expression of Components of Wnt Signaling Pathway and Markers of Bone Mineralization

Horm Metab Res. 2016 Jul;48(7):468-75. doi: 10.1055/s-0042-101027. Epub 2016 Feb 5.


Pioglitazone is an insulin-sensitizing thiazolidinedione (TZD) whose use is associated with bone loss. We examined the effects of pioglitazone on components of the Wnt signaling pathway (Wnt1, β-catenin) and markers of bone mineralization [osteoprotegerin (OPG), bone sialoprotein (BSP), fibroblast growth factor (FGF)23] as well as mineral content in human osteoblast hFOB 1.19 cells. hFOB 1.19 cells were cultured in K12/DMD medium with or without pioglitazone. PPARγ Wnt1, OPG, BSP, or FGF23 mRNA expression was measured using qRT-PCR; β-catenin, OPG, BSP, or FGF23 using ELISA; and calcium or phosphate content using colorimetry. Treatment with pioglitazone resulted in increased expression of PPARγ mRNA in hFOB 1.19 osteoblasts. Pioglitazone decreased Wnt1 mRNA levels and suppressed components of Wnt signaling pathway as evidenced by a decrease in β-catenin gene expression and secretion as well as β-catenin specific activity. The expression and the activity of OPG, BSP, and FGF23 were also reduced by pioglitazone together with total (but not specific) calcium and phosphate content. Pioglitazone affects Wnt1 signaling pathway and mineral matrix regulation components in human osteoblasts.

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers / metabolism*
  • Calcification, Physiologic / drug effects*
  • Calcification, Physiologic / genetics
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Fetus / cytology
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor-23
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors / genetics
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Integrin-Binding Sialoprotein / metabolism
  • Minerals / metabolism
  • Osteoblasts / cytology
  • Osteoblasts / drug effects
  • Osteoblasts / metabolism
  • Osteoprotegerin / metabolism
  • PPAR gamma / genetics
  • PPAR gamma / metabolism
  • Phosphates / metabolism
  • Pioglitazone
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Thiazolidinediones / pharmacology*
  • Wnt Signaling Pathway / drug effects*
  • Wnt Signaling Pathway / genetics
  • beta Catenin / metabolism


  • Biomarkers
  • FGF23 protein, human
  • Integrin-Binding Sialoprotein
  • Minerals
  • Osteoprotegerin
  • PPAR gamma
  • Phosphates
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Thiazolidinediones
  • beta Catenin
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor-23
  • Calcium
  • Pioglitazone