High expression of acid-sensing ion channel 2 (asic2) in bone cells in osteoporotic vertebral fractures

Ching Yu Lee, Tsung Jen Huang*, Meng Huang Wu, Yen Yao Li, Kuan Der Lee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

7 Scopus citations


Little is known about the function of acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs) in bone cells or osteoporotic vertebral fractures (OVF). This study delineated ASICs expression in adult human bone marrow-mesenchymal stem cells-(BM-MSC-) derived osteoblasts and in OVF bone cells. Adult BM-MSC-derived osteoblasts were isolated and cultured in different pH values. Osteogenic markers as alkaline phosphatase (ALP), osteopontin (OPN), and osteocalcin (OC) mRNA were assessed. Western blots method was applied to analyze ASICs protein expression in different pH values. Amiloride was added into the osteogenic media to analyze the Na+/K+ ATPase change. We harvested the vertebral cancellous bone through a bone biopsy needle in 26 OVF patients when performing percutaneous vertebroplasty. Six vertebral bone specimens obtained from 4 patients with high-energy vertebral fractures were used as the control. The reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction was performed to analyze the quantitative mRNA expression of ASICs. Osteogenic markers as ALP, OPN, and OC mRNA were higher expressed in increasing pH values throughout osteoblastogenesis. ASIC proteins were higher expressed in lower pH media, especially ASIC3, and ASIC4. The highest protein expression at days 7, 14, and 21 was ASIC2, ASIC4, and ASIC3, respectively. Expression of Na+/K+ ATPase was significantly decreased in cultured osteoblasts by addition of amiloride into the pH 6.9 osteogenic media. ASIC2 mRNA was most highly expressed with a 65.93-fold increase in the biopsied vertebral bone cells in OVF compared with the control. In conclusion, we found osteoblastogenesis was reduced in an acidic environment, and ASIC2, ASIC3, and ASIC4 were most highly expressed in turn during osteoblastogenesis within acidic media. ASIC2 was the most abundantly expressed gene in human bone cells in OVF compared with the control. ASIC2 could be crucial in the pathogenesis of osteoporosis and could serve as a therapeutic target for antiosteoporotic therapies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4714279
JournalBioMed Research International
StatePublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Ching-Yu Lee et al.


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