1. Center of Craniofacial Orthodontics, Department of Oral and Cranio-maxillofacial Surgery, Shanghai Ninth People's Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine; College of Stomatology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University; National Center for Stomatology; National Clinical Research Center for Oral Diseases; Shanghai Key Laboratory of Stomatology; Shanghai Research Institute of Stomatology.
2. The 2nd Dental Center, Ninth People's Hospital, Shanghai Ninth People's Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine; College of Stomatology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University; National Center for Stomatology; National Clinical Research Center for Oral Diseases; Shanghai Key Laboratory of Stomatology; Shanghai Research Institute of Stomatology.
*These authors contributed equally
Bone exhibits changes in density, strength, and microarchitecture in relation to mechanical loading mediated by exercise. Appropriate exercise maintains bone homeostasis, while the absence of exercise leads to disuse bone loss. However, the acting mechanism of mechanotransduction in bone remains unclear. We performed the running-wheel exercise and tail suspension model to study the effects of exercise on bone metabolism, and found that osteoblastic Signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) activity was closely related to exercise-induced bone mass and metabolism changes. With the Flexcell tension-loading system in vitro, mechanical force promoted STAT3 activity, which was accompanied by increased osteoblastic differentiation of the bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs). In contrast, the inhibition of STAT3 phosphorylation blocked force-induced osteoblastic differentiation. Furthermore, pharmacological inactivation of STAT3 impaired the increase in exercise-induced bone mass and osteogenesis. With an inducible conditional deletion mouse model, we found that the osteoblast lineage-specific Stat3 deletion could also block force-induced osteoblastic differentiation in vitro and impair exercise-promoted bone mass and osteogenesis in vivo. This confirmed the crucial role of osteoblastic STAT3 in exercise-mediated bone metabolism. Finally, colivelin, a STAT3 agonist, promoted osteoblastic differentiation in vitro and partly rescued exercise loss-induced disuse bone loss by improving osteogenesis in the tail suspension model. Taken together, our study revealed the essential role of STAT3 in maintaining exercise-mediated bone homeostasis. In addition, STAT3 might act as a potential target for osteoporosis caused by exercise loss.
Keywords: exercise, mechanical force, STAT3, running wheel, tail suspension, bone homeostasis