Pharmacological activation of aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 promotes osteoblast differentiation via bone morphogenetic protein-2 and induces bone anabolic effect

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Aldehyde dehydrogenases (ALDHs) are a family of enzymes involved in detoxifying aldehydes. Previously, we reported that an ALDH inhibitor, disulfiram caused bone loss in rats and among ALDHs, osteoblast expressed only ALDH2. Loss-of-function mutation in ALDH2 gene is reported to cause bone loss in humans which suggested its importance in skeletal homeostasis. We thus studied whether activating ALDH2 by N-(1, 3-benzodioxol-5-ylmethyl)-2, 6-dichlorobenzamide (alda-1) had osteogenic effect. We found that alda-1 increased and acetaldehyde decreased the differentiation of rat primary osteoblasts and expressions of ALDH2 and bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP-2). Silencing ALDH2 in osteoblasts abolished the alda-1 effects. Further, alda-1 attenuated the acetaldehyde-induced lipid-peroxidation and oxidative stress. BMP-2 is essential for bone regeneration and alda-1 increased its expression in osteoblasts. We then showed that alda-1 (40 mg/kg dose) augmented bone regeneration at the fracture site with concomitant increase in BMP-2 protein compared with control. The osteogenic dose (40 mg/kg) of alda-1 attained a bone marrow concentration that was stimulatory for osteoblast differentiation, suggesting that the tissue concentration of alda-1 matched its pharmacologic effect. In addition, alda-1 promoted modeling-directed bone growth and peak bone mass achievement, and increased bone mass in adult rats which reiterated its osteogenic effect. In osteopenic ovariectomized (OVX) rats, alda-1 reversed trabecular osteopenia with attendant increase in serum osteogenic marker (procollagen type I N-terminal peptide) and decrease in oxidative stress. Alda-1 has no effect on liver and kidney function. We conclude that activating ALDH2 by alda-1 had an osteoanabolic effect involving increased osteoblastic BMP-2 production and decreased OVX-induced oxidative stress.HighlightsAlda-1 induced osteoblast differentiation that involved upregulation of ALDH2 and BMP-2Alda-1 attenuated acetaldehyde-induced inhibition of osteoblast differentiationAlda-1 enhanced bone regeneration at the fracture site and peak bone mass achievementAlda-1 reversed trabecular osteopenia in OVX rats via an osteoanabolic mechanism

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