2013 Volume 34 Issue 3 Pages 161-166
Bone remodeling is regulated by local factors that regulate bone-forming osteoblasts and boneresorbing osteoclasts, in addition to hormonal activity. Recent studies have shown that reactive oxygen species (ROS) act as an intracellular signal mediator for osteoclast differentiation. However the role of ROS on osteoblast differentiation is poorly understood. Here, we investigated the impact of ROS on osteoblastic differentiation of MC3T3-E1 cells. Osteogenic induction resulted in notable enhancement of mineralization and expression of osteogenic marker gene alkaline phosphatase, which were accompanied by an increase in ROS production. Additionally, we found that mitochondrial morphology dynamically changed from tubular reticulum to fragmented structures during the differentiation, suggesting that mitochondrial morphological transition is a novel osteoblast differentiation index. The antioxidant N-acetyl cysteine prevented not only ROS production but also mineralization and mitochondrial fragmentation. It is therefore suggested that the ROSdependent signaling pathways play a role in osteoblast differentiation accompanied by mitochondrial morphological transition.