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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Extracellular calcium (Ca2+(o))-sensing receptor in a murine bone marrow-derived stromal cell line (ST2): potential mediator of the actions of Ca2+(o) on the function of ST2 cells.

The calcium-sensing receptor (CaR) is a G protein-coupled receptor that plays key roles in extracellular calcium ion (Ca2+(o)) homeostasis by mediating the actions of Ca2+(o) on parathyroid gland and kidney. Bone marrow stromal cells support the formation of osteoclasts from their progenitors as well as the growth of hematopoietic stem cells by secreting humoral factors and through cell to cell contact. Stromal cells also have the capacity to differentiate into bone-forming osteoblasts. Bone resorption by osteoclasts probably produces substantial local increases in Ca2+(o) that could provide a signal for stromal cells in the immediate vicinity, leading us to determine whether such stromal cells express the CaR. In this study, we used the murine bone marrow-derived, stromal cell line, ST2. Both immunocytochemistry and Western blot analysis, using an antiserum specific for the CaR, detected CaR protein in ST2 cells. We also identified CaR transcripts in ST2 cells by Northern analysis using a CaR-specific probe and by RT-PCR with CaR-specific primers, followed by nucleotide sequencing of the amplified products. Exposure of ST2 cells to high Ca2+(o) (4.8 mM) or to the polycationic CaR agonists, neomycin (300 microM) or gadolinium (100 microM), stimulated both chemotaxis and DNA synthesis in ST2 cells. Therefore, taken together, our data strongly suggest that the bone marrow-derived stromal cell line, ST2, possesses both CaR protein and messenger RNA that are very similar if not identical to those in parathyroid and kidney. Furthermore, as ST2 cells have the potential to differentiate into osteoblasts, the CaR in stromal cells could participate in bone turnover by stimulating the proliferation and migration of such cells to sites of bone resorption as a result of local, osteoclast-mediated release of Ca2+(o) and, thereafter, initiating bone formation after their differentiation into osteoblasts.[1]


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