Int J Biol Sci 2010; 6(6):525-536. doi:10.7150/ijbs.6.525 This issue

Research Paper

Alpha-Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide Can Reverse The Catabolic Influence Of UHMWPE Particles On RANKL Expression In Primary Human Osteoblasts

Max D. Kauther1,2 * , Jie Xu2,3 *, Christian Wedemeyer2

1. Department of Trauma Surgery, University of Duisburg-Essen, Hufelandstraße 55, 45147 Essen, Germany
2. Department of Orthopaedics, University of Duisburg-Essen, Pattbergstrasse 1-3, 45239 Essen, Germany
3. Department of Orthopaedics, The second affiliated hospital of Sun Yat-sen University Guangzhou, China
* Both authors contributed equally to this work and share the first authorship.

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Kauther MD, Xu J, Wedemeyer C. Alpha-Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide Can Reverse The Catabolic Influence Of UHMWPE Particles On RANKL Expression In Primary Human Osteoblasts. Int J Biol Sci 2010; 6(6):525-536. doi:10.7150/ijbs.6.525. Available from

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Background and purpose: A linkage between the neurotransmitter alpha-calcitonin gene-related peptide (alpha-CGRP) and particle-induced osteolysis has been shown previously. The suggested osteoprotective influence of alpha-CGRP on the catabolic effects of ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) particles is analyzed in this study in primary human osteoblasts. Methods: Primary human osteoblasts were stimulated by UHMWPE particles (cell/particle ratios 1:100 and 1:500) and different doses of alpha-CGRP (10-7 M, 10-9 M, 10-11 M). Receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB ligand (RANKL) and osteoprotegerin (OPG) mRNA expression and protein levels were measured by RT-PCR and Western blot. Results: Particle stimulation leads to a significant dose-dependent increase of RANKL mRNA in both cell-particle ratios and a significant down-regulation of OPG mRNA in cell-particle concentrations of 1:500. A significant depression of alkaline phosphatase was found due to particle stimulation. Alpha-CGRP in all tested concentrations showed a significant depressive effect on the expression of RANKL mRNA in primary human osteoblasts under particle stimulation. Comparable reactions of RANKL protein levels due to particles and alpha-CGRP were found by Western blot analysis. In cell-particle ratios of 1:100 after 24 hours the osteoprotective influence of alpha-CGRP reversed the catabolic effects of particles on the RANKL expression. Interpretation: The in-vivo use of alpha-CGRP, which leads to down-regulated RANKL in-vitro, might inhibit the catabolic effect of particles in conditions of particle induced osteolysis.

Keywords: Aseptic loosening, polyethylene, alpha-CGRP, hOB, RANKL.