Our previous studies suggested that increased osteoclast formation and activity in Paget's disease may be related in part to increased responsiveness of highly purified osteoclast precursors to 1,25- dihydroxyvitamin D3 [1,25-(OH)2D3]. However, the basis for this enhanced sensitivity to 1,25-(OH)2D3 is unclear. To address this question, we examined 24-hydroxylase and 1,25-(OH)2D3 receptor (VDR) messenger RNA (mRNA) expression during human osteoclast differentiation from normal subjects and patients with Paget's disease in response to 1,25-(OH)2D3 as well as VDR content and affinity. Reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis of granulocyte-macrophage colony-forming unit (GM- CFU), the earliest identifiable osteoclast precursor, derived from patients with Paget's disease demonstrated 24-hydroxylase mRNA expression in response to 1,25-(OH)2D3 was induced at concentrations of 1,25-(OH)2D3 that were at least one log less than that required for normal GM-CFU. VDR mRNA and VDR protein were detected in both immature and more differentiated osteoclast precursors, as well as in osteoclast-like multinucleated cells (MNCs). However, VDR expression was lower in MNCs than the mononuclear precursor cells. Osteoclast precursors and MNCs from patients with Paget's disease had levels of VDR expression similar to those of normal subjects but showed increased VDR affinity for 1,25-(OH)2D3. Because the effects of 1,25- (OH)2D3 are in part mediated by induction of expression of RANK ligand on marrow stromal cells, which in turn stimulates osteoclast formation, we examined expression of RANK ligand mRNA by marrow stromal cell lines derived from patients with Paget's disease and normal subjects in response to 1,25- (OH)2D3. RT-PCR analysis showed no difference in sensitivity of marrow stromal cells to 1,25-(OH)2D3 from normal subjects or patients with Paget's disease although the Paget's stromal cells expressed increased basal levels of RANK ligand mRNA. These results show that VDR protein is expressed in early and more differentiated osteoclast precursors, that expression levels of VDR decline with osteoclast differentiation, and that 1,25-(OH)2D3 has direct effects on osteoclast precursors. The enhanced sensitivity to 1,25- (OH)2D3 is an intrinsic property of osteoclast precursors from patients with Paget's disease that distinguishes them from normal osteoclast precursors. Furthermore, our results suggest that an increased affinity of VDR for 1,25-(OH)2D3 may be responsible for the enhanced 1,25-(OH)2D3 sensitivity of osteoclast precursors in patients with Paget's disease compared with normal subjects.
- Paget's disease
- Vitamin D receptor
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine