Calcitonin induces expression of the inducible cAMP early repressor in osteoclasts

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The cAMP response element modulator gene (Crem) encodes a variety of transcriptional regulators including the inducible cAMP early repressor, ICER. We previously showed that Crem knockout mice, which are deficient in CREM and ICER factors, display slightly increased long bone mass and decreased osteoclast number. These data are consistent with the notion that Crem regulates bone mass in part through an effect on osteoclast formation and/or function. Since ICER is strongly induced by cAMP, we asked whether the calcium-regulating hormone calcitonin, which stimulates cAMP production and inhibits osteoclastic bone resorption, could induce ICER in osteoclasts. The monocytic cell line RAW264.7 was treated with receptor activator of NF-κB ligand (RANKL) to induce osteoclast formation. Calcitonin caused a time- and dose-dependent induction of ICER mRNA and an increase in ICER protein abundance in RANKL-treated RAW264.7 cells. Calcitonin also induced ICER mRNA and protein in osteoclasts derived from primary mouse bone marrow cell cultures. Calcitonin-treated osteoclasts showed immunoreactivity with an anti-CREM antibody. Calcitonin decreased the activity of wild-type and Crem knockout osteoclasts in vitro, and this inhibitory effect was greater in Crem knockout osteoclasts. Furthermore, calcitonin decreased calcitonin receptor mRNA expression in wild-type osteoclasts, but not in Crem knockout osteoclasts. These data suggest that calcitonin induction of ICER in osteoclasts might regulate osteoclast activity.

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