Activation of Protein Kinase A in Mature Osteoblasts Promotes a Major Bone Anabolic Response.

PMID 26488807


Protein kinase A (PKA) regulates osteoblast cell function in vitro and is activated by important bone mass modulating agents. We determined whether PKA activation in osteoblasts is sufficient to mediate a bone anabolic response. Thus, a mouse model conditionally expressing a constitutively active PKA (CA-PKA) in osteoblasts (CA-PKA-OB mouse) was developed by crossing a 2.3-kb α1 (I)-collagen promoter-Cre mouse with a floxed-CA-PKA mouse. Primary osteoblasts from the CA-PKA-OB mice exhibited higher basal PKA activity than those from control mice. Microcomputed tomographic analysis revealed that CA-PKA-OB female mice had an 8.6-fold increase in femoral but only 1.16-fold increase in lumbar 5 vertebral bone volume/total volume. Femur cortical thickness and volume were also higher in the CA-PKA-OB mice. In contrast, alterations in many femoral microcomputed tomographic parameters in male CA-PKA-OB mice were modest. Interestingly, the 3-dimensional structure model index was substantially lower both in femur and lumbar 5 of male and female CA-PKA-OB mice, reflecting an increase in the plate to rod-like structure ratio. In agreement, femurs from female CA-PKA-OB mice had greater load to failure and were stiffer compared with those of control mice. Furthermore, the CA-PKA-OB mice had higher levels of serum bone turnover markers and increased osteoblast and osteoclast numbers per total tissue area compared with control animals. In summary, constitutive activation of PKA in osteoblasts is sufficient to increase bone mass and favorably modify bone architecture and improve mechanical properties. PKA activation in mature osteoblasts is, therefore, an important target for designing anabolic drugs for treating diseases with bone loss.