Molecular medicine reports

Liraglutide attenuates the osteoblastic differentiation of MC3T3‑E1 cells by modulating AMPK/mTOR signaling.

PMID 27600753


Liraglutide, a synthetic analogue of glucagon-like peptide‑1, is utilized in the treatment of type 2 diabetes and obesity. Liraglutide has been previously demonstrated to prevent osteoblastic differentiation of human vascular smooth muscle cells, resulting in the slowing of arterial calcification, however, its effect on bone formation remains unclear. The present study investigated the effect of liraglutide on osteoblastic differentiation using Alizarin Red S staining, and examined the molecular mechanisms underlying the regulatory effect by western blot analysis. The present study demonstrated that protein expression levels of phosphorylated adenosine monophosphate‑activated protein kinase (p‑AMPK) were downregulated in MC3T3‑E1 cells during osteoblastic differentiation in commercial osteogenic differentiation medium, whereas protein expression levels of transforming growth factor‑β (TGF‑β) and phosphorylated mammalian target of rapamycin (p‑mTOR) increased. Liraglutide was subsequently demonstrated to dose‑dependently attenuate the osteoblastic differentiation of MC3T3‑E1 cells, to upregulate p‑AMPK, and downregulate p‑mTOR and TGF‑β protein expression levels. Treatment with an AMPK‑specific inhibitor, Compound C, eradicated the effect of liraglutide on osteoblastic differentiation, and p‑mTOR and TGF‑β downregulation. An mTOR activator, MHY1485, also abolished the inhibitory effect of liraglutide on osteoblastic differentiation, and resulted in p‑mTOR and TGF‑β downregulation, but did not attenuate the liraglutide‑induced increase in p‑AMPK protein expression levels. The results of the present study demonstrate that liraglutide attenuates osteoblastic differentiation of MC3T3‑E1 cells via modulation of AMPK/mTOR signaling. The present study revealed a novel function of liraglutide, which contributes to the understanding of its pharmacological and physiological effects in clinical settings.