GPR109A mediates the effects of hippuric acid on regulating osteoclastogenesis and bone resorption in mice

Commun Biol. 2021 Jan 8;4(1):53. doi: 10.1038/s42003-020-01564-2.


The G protein-coupled receptor 109 A (GPR109A) is robustly expressed in osteoclastic precursor macrophages. Previous studies suggested that GPR109A mediates effects of diet-derived phenolic acids such as hippuric acid (HA) and 3-(3-hydroxyphenyl) propionic acid (3-3-PPA) on promoting bone formation. However, the role of GPR109A in metabolic bone homeostasis and osteoclast differentiation has not been investigated. Using densitometric, bone histologic and molecular signaling analytic methods, we uncovered that bone mass and strength were significantly higher in tibia and spine of standard rodent diet weaned 4-week-old and 6-month-old GPR109A gene deletion (GPR109A-/-) mice, compared to their wild type controls. Osteoclast numbers in bone and in ex vivo bone marrow cell cultures were significantly decreased in GPR109A-/- mice compared to wild type controls. In accordance with these data, CTX-1 in bone marrow plasma and gene expression of bone resorption markers (TNFα, TRAP, Cathepsin K) were significantly decreased in GPR109A-/- mice, while on the other hand, P1NP was increased in serum from both male and female GPR109A-/- mice compared to their respective controls. GPR109A deletion led to suppressed Wnt/β-catenin signaling in osteoclast precursors to inhibit osteoclast differentiation and activity. Indeed, HA and 3-3-PPA substantially inhibited RANKL-induced GPR109A expression and Wnt/β-catenin signaling in osteoclast precursors and osteoclast differentiation. Resultantly, HA significantly inhibited bone resorption and increased bone mass in wild type mice, but had no additional effects on bone in GPR109A-/- mice compared with their respective untreated control mice. These results suggest an important role for GPR109A during osteoclast differentiation and bone resorption mediating effects of HA and 3-3-PPA on inhibiting bone resorption during skeletal development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone Resorption / prevention & control*
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome
  • Hippurates / pharmacology*
  • Hippurates / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Osteogenesis / drug effects*
  • Phenylpropionates / pharmacology*
  • Phenylpropionates / therapeutic use
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / genetics
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / metabolism*
  • Wnt Signaling Pathway


  • HCAR2 protein, human
  • Hippurates
  • Phenylpropionates
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled
  • 3-(3-hydroxyphenyl)-3-hydroxypropanoic acid
  • hippuric acid