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Multiple Transduction Pathways Mediate Thyrotropin Receptor Signaling in Preosteoblast-Like Cells

It has been shown that the TSH receptor (TSHR) couples to a number of different signaling pathways, although the Gs-cAMP pathway has been considered primary. Here, we measured the effects of TSH on bone marker mRNA and protein expression in preosteoblast-like U2OS cells stably expressing TSHRs. We determined which signaling cascades are involved in the regulation of IL-11, osteopontin (OPN), and alkaline phosphatase (ALPL). We demonstrated that TSH-induced up-regulation of IL-11 is primarily mediated via the Gs pathway as IL-11 was up-regulated by forskolin (FSK), an adenylyl cyclase activator, and inhibited by protein kinase A inhibitor H-89 and by silencing of Gαs by small interfering RNA. OPN levels were not affected by FSK, but its up-regulation was inhibited by TSHR/Gi-uncoupling by pertussis toxin. Pertussis toxin decreased p38 MAPK kinase phosphorylation, and a p38 inhibitor and small interfering RNA knockdown of p38α inhibited OPN induction by TSH. Up-regulation of ALPL expression required high doses of TSH (EC50 = 395nM), whereas low doses (EC50 = 19nM) were inhibitory. FSK-stimulated cAMP production decreased basal ALPL expression, whereas protein kinase A inhibition by H-89 and silencing of Gαs increased basal levels of ALPL. Knockdown of Gαq/11 and a protein kinase C inhibitor decreased TSH-stimulated up-regulation of ALPL, whereas a protein kinase C activator increased ALPL levels. A MAPK inhibitor and silencing of ERK1/2 inhibited TSH-stimulated ALPL expression. We conclude that TSH regulates expression of different bone markers via distinct signaling pathways.

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