Liraglutide, a glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist, facilitates osteogenic proliferation and differentiation in MC3T3-E1 cells through phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/protein kinase B (AKT), extracellular signal-related kinase (ERK)1/2, and cAMP/protein kinase A (PKA) signaling pathways involving β-catenin

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Previous studies have proven that glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and its receptor agonist exert favorable anabolic effects on skeletal metabolism. However, whether GLP-1 could directly impact osteoblast-mediated bone formation is still controversial, and the underlying molecular mechanism remains to be elucidated. Thus in this paper, we investigated the effects of liraglutide, a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist, on murine MC3T3-E1 preosteoblasts proliferation and differentiation and explored the potential cellular basis. Our study confirmed the presence of GLP-1R in MC3T3-E1, and demonstrated that liraglutide promotes osteoblasts proliferation at an intermediate concentration (100 nM) and time (48 h), upregulated the expression of osteoblastogenic biomarkers at various stages, and stimulated osteoblastic mineralization. Liraglutide also elevated the intracellular cAMP level and phosphorylation of AKT, ERK and β-catenin simultaneously with increased nuclear β-catenin content and transcriptional activity. Pretreatment of cells with the inhibitors LY294002, PD98059, H89 and GLP-1R and β-catenin siRNA partially blocked the liraglutide-induced signaling activation and attenuated the facilitating effect of liraglutide on MC3T3-E1 cells. Collectively, liraglutide was capable of acting upon osteoblasts directly through GLP-1R by activating PI3K/AKT, ERK1/2, cAMP/PKA/β-cat-Ser675 signaling to promote bone formation via GLP-1R. Thus, GLP-1 analogues may be potential therapeutic strategy for the treatment of osteoporosis in diabetics.

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