Oncostatin M receptor regulates osteoblast differentiation via extracellular signal-regulated kinase/autophagy signaling

Stem Cell Res Ther. 2022 Jun 28;13(1):278. doi: 10.1186/s13287-022-02958-1.


Background: Oncostatin M receptor (OSMR), as one of the receptors for oncostatin M (OSM), has previously been shown to mediate the stimulatory role of OSM in osteoclastogenesis and bone resorption. However, it remains to be clarified whether and how OSMR affects the differentiation of osteoblasts.

Methods: The expression level of OSMR during osteoblast and adipocyte differentiation was examined. The role of OSMR in the differentiation was investigated using in vitro gain-of-function and loss-of-function experiments. The mechanisms by which OSMR regulates bone cell differentiation were explored. Finally, in vivo function of OSMR in cell fate determination and bone homeostasis was studied after transplantation of OSMR-silenced bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) to the marrow of ovariectomized mice.

Results: OSMR was regulated during osteogenic and adipogenic differentiation of marrow stromal progenitor cells and increased in the metaphysis of ovariectomized mice. OSMR suppressed osteogenic differentiation and stimulated adipogenic differentiation of progenitor cells. Mechanistic investigations showed that OSMR inhibited extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and autophagy signaling. The downregulation of autophagy, which was mediated by ERK inhibition, suppressed osteogenic differentiation of progenitor cells. Additionally, inactivation of ERK/autophagy signaling attenuated the stimulation of osteogenic differentiation induced by Osmr siRNA. Furthermore, transplantation of BMSCs in which OSMR was silenced to the marrow of mice promoted osteoblast differentiation, attenuated fat accumulation and osteoclast differentiation, and thereby relieved the osteopenic phenotype in the ovariectomized mice.

Conclusions: Our study has for the first time established the direct role of OSMR in regulating osteogenic differentiation of marrow stromal progenitor cells through ERK-mediated autophagy signaling. OSMR thus contributes to bone homeostasis through dual regulation of osteoblasts and osteoclasts. It also suggests that OSMR may be a potential target for the treatment of metabolic disorders such as osteoporosis.

Keywords: Autophagy; Bone homeostasis; Differentiation; Extracellular signal-regulated kinase; Oncostatin M receptor; Osteoblast.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autophagy / physiology
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology
  • Extracellular Signal-Regulated MAP Kinases* / metabolism
  • MAP Kinase Signaling System*
  • Mice
  • Oncostatin M Receptor beta Subunit* / metabolism
  • Osteoblasts* / cytology
  • Osteoblasts* / metabolism
  • Osteogenesis*


  • Oncostatin M Receptor beta Subunit
  • Osmr protein, mouse
  • Extracellular Signal-Regulated MAP Kinases