Hdac3-deficiency increases senescence-associated distention of satellite DNA and telomere-associated foci in osteoprogenitor cells

J Bone Miner Res. 2024 Jun 6:zjae085. doi: 10.1093/jbmr/zjae085. Online ahead of print.


Histone deacetylase 3 (Hdac3) is an epigenetic regulator of gene expression and interacts with skeletal transcription factors such as Runx2. We previously reported that conditional deletion of Hdac3 in Osterix-Cre recombinase-expressing osteoprogenitor cells (Hdac3 CKOOsx) caused osteopenia and increased marrow adiposity, both hallmarks of skeletal aging. We also showed that Runx2+ cells within osteogenic cultures of Hdac3-depleted bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) contain lipid droplets (LDs). Cellular senescence, a non-proliferative metabolically active state, is associated with increased marrow adiposity, bone loss and aging. In this study, we sought to determine if Hdac3 depleted Runx2+ pre-osteoblasts from young mice exhibit chromatin changes associated with early cellular senescence and how these events correlate with the appearance of LDs. We first confirmed that BMSCs from Hdac3 CKOOsx mice have more Runx2 + LD+ cells compared to controls under osteogenic conditions. We then measured senescence-associated distention of satellite DNA (SADS) and telomere-associated foci (TAFs) in Hdac3 CKOOsx and control BMSCs. In situ, Runx2+ cells contained more SADs per nuclei in Hdac3 CKOOsx femora than in controls. Runx2+ BMSCs from Hdac3 CKOOsx mice also contained more SADS and TAFs per nuclei than Runx2+ cells from age-matched control mice in vitro. SADs and TAFs were present at similar levels in Runx2 + LD+ cells and Runx2 + LD- cells from Hdac3 CKOOsx mice. Hdac inhibitors also increased the number of SADS in Runx2 + LD+ and Runx2 + LD- wildtype BMSCs. Senolytics reduced viable cell numbers in Hdac3 CKOOsx BMSC cultures. These data demonstrate that depletion of Hdac3 in osteochondral progenitor cells triggers LD formation and early events in cellular senescence in Runx2+ BMSCs through mutually exclusive mechanisms.

Keywords: Hdac3; Lipid droplets; RGFP966; Runx2; SAHA; Senescence; Senolytics.

Plain language summary

Histone deacetylase 3 (Hdac3) is an enzyme within cells that binds factors in cell nuclei like Runx2 to regulate the expression of genes and control cellular functions. Deleting Hdac3 in cells responsible for bone formation causes bone loss and increases fat in the bone marrow, both hallmarks of skeletal aging. We observed that Hdac3-deletion causes Runx2+ bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) to store fats in lipid droplets (LD) even though the cultures were stimulated to become bone cells. Here, we investigated whether these Runx2 + LD+ cells exhibit signs of cellular senescence, which is a zombie-like state associated with increased marrow fat, bone loss and aging. We found that Hdac3-depleted Runx2+ cells showed chromatin changes linked to early cellular senescence alongside the formation of LDs. These findings suggest that Hdac3 plays a crucial role in preventing skeletal aging via regulating both LD formation and cellular senescence in osteochondral progenitor cells.