Kidney international

Primary osteoblast-like cells from patients with end-stage kidney disease reflect gene expression, proliferation, and mineralization characteristics ex vivo.

PMID 25354236


Osteocytes regulate bone turnover and mineralization in chronic kidney disease. As osteocytes are derived from osteoblasts, alterations in osteoblast function may regulate osteoblast maturation, osteocytic transition, bone turnover, and skeletal mineralization. Thus, primary osteoblast-like cells were cultured from bone chips obtained from 24 pediatric ESKD patients. RNA expression in cultured cells was compared with RNA expression in cells from healthy individuals, to RNA expression in the bone core itself, and to parameters of bone histomorphometry. Proliferation and mineralization rates of patient cells were compared with rates in healthy control cells. Associations were observed between bone osteoid accumulation, as assessed by bone histomorphometry, and bone core RNA expression of osterix, matrix gla protein, parathyroid hormone receptor 1, and RANKL. Gene expression of osteoblast markers was increased in cells from ESKD patients and signaling genes including Cyp24A1, Cyp27B1, VDR, and NHERF1 correlated between cells and bone cores. Cells from patients with high turnover renal osteodystrophy proliferated more rapidly and mineralized more slowly than did cells from healthy controls. Thus, primary osteoblasts obtained from patients with ESKD retain changes in gene expression ex vivo that are also observed in bone core specimens. Evaluation of these cells in vitro may provide further insights into the abnormal bone biology that persists, despite current therapies, in patients with ESKD.