Oxidative metabolism is impaired by phosphate deficiency during fracture healing and is mechanistically related to BMP induced chondrocyte differentiation

Bone Rep. 2023 Jan 23:18:101657. doi: 10.1016/j.bonr.2023.101657. eCollection 2023 Jun.


Prior studies of acute phosphate restriction during the endochondral phase of fracture healing showed delayed chondrocyte differentiation was mechanistically linked to decreased bone morphogenetic protein signaling. In the present study, transcriptomic analysis of fracture callus gene expression in three strains of mice was used to identify differentially expressed (FDR = q ≤ 0.05) genes in response to phosphate (Pi) restriction. Ontology and pathway analysis of these genes showed that independent of genetic background, a Pi-deficient diet downregulated (p = 3.16 × 10-23) genes associated with mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation pathways as well as multiple other pathways of intermediate metabolism. Temporal clustering was used to identify co-regulation of these specific pathways. This analysis showed that specific Ox/Phos, tricarboxylic acid cycle, pyruvate dehydrogenase. Arginine, proline metabolism genes, and prolyl 4-hydroxylase were all co-regulated in response to dietary Pi restriction. The murine C3H10T½ mesenchymal stem cell line was used to assess the functional relationships between BMP2-induced chondrogenic differentiation, oxidative metabolism and extracellular matrix formation. BMP2-induced chondrogenic differentiation of C3H10T½ was carried out in culture media in the absence or presence of ascorbic acid, the necessary co-factor for proly hydroxylation, and in media with normal and 25 % phosphate levels. BMP2 treatment led to decreased proliferation, increased protein accumulation and increased collagen and aggrecan gene expression. Across all conditions, BMP2 increased total oxidative activity and ATP synthesis. Under all conditions, the presence of ascorbate further increased total protein accumulation, proly-hydroxylation and aggrecan gene expression, oxidative capacity and ATP production. Lower phosphate levels only diminished aggrecan gene expression with no other effects of metabolic activity being observed. These data suggest that dietary phosphate restriction controls endochondral growth in vivo indirectly through BMP signaling, which upregulates oxidative activity that is linked to overall protein production and collagen hydroxylation.

Keywords: BMP2; Fracture healing; Oxidative phosphorylation; Phosphate deficiency; Proline hydroxylation.