Taurine has been shown to have positive effects on bone mass, which are thought to be due in part to its cytoprotective effects on osteoblasts and here we show that taurine also protects osteocytes against cell death due to reactive oxygen species. Using the IDG-SW3 cell line, the expression of the taurine uptake transporter Taut/Slc6a6 is increased during osteoblast to osteocyte differentiation. Taurine had no effect on genes associated with osteoblast to osteocyte differentiation such as Dmp1, Phex or osteocalcin, even at high doses, but a slight yet significant inhibition of alkaline phosphatase was observed at the highest dose (50 mM). No effect was seen on the osteoclast regulatory genes Rankl and Opg, however the wnt antagonist Sost/sclerostin was potently and dose-dependently downregulated in response to taurine supplementation. Taurine also significantly inhibited Dkk1 mRNA expression, but only at 50 mM. Interestingly, osteocytes were found to also be able to synthesize taurine intracellularly, potentially as a self-protective mechanism, but do not secrete the metabolite. A highly significant increase in the expression of cysteine dioxygenase (Cdo), a key enzyme necessary for the production of taurine, was observed with osteoblast to osteocyte differentiation along with a decrease in methionine, the precursor of taurine. For the first time, we describe the synthesis of taurine by osteocytes, potentially to preserve viability and to regulate bone formation through inhibition of sclerostin.
- Wnt signaling
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism