Alendronate promotes osteoblast differentiation and bone formation in ovariectomy‑induced osteoporosis through interferon‑β/signal transducer and activator of transcription 1 pathway
- Xiaoqing Ma
- Zhongyang Xu
- Shaofeng Ding
- Guangkun Yi
- Qian Wang
Published online on: October 27, 2017
Copyright: © Ma et al.
This is an open access article distributed under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution License.
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Alendronate is commonly used for the treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis; however, the underlying pathological molecular mechanisms of its action remain unclear. In the present study, the alendronate‑treated signaling pathway in bone metabolism in rats with ovariectomy induced by osteoporosis was investigated. Rats with osteoporosis were orally administered alendronate or phosphate‑buffered saline (control). In addition, the interferon‑β (IFN‑β)/signal transducer and activator of transcription 1 (STAT1) signaling pathway was investigated in osteoblasts following treatment with alendronate in vitro and in vivo. During the differentiation period, IFN‑β (100 ng/ml) was used to treat the osteoblast cells, and the activity, viability and bone metabolism‑associated gene expression levels (STAT1, p‑STAT1, Fra1, TRAF6 and SOCS1) were analyzed in osteoblast cells. Histopathological changes were used to evaluate osteoblasts, osteoclasts, inﬂammatory phase of bone healing and osteonecrotic areas. The results demonstrated that alendronate significantly inhibited the activity of osteoporotic osteoclasts by stimulating expression of IFN‑β, as well as markedly improved the viability and activity of osteoblasts compared with the control group. In addition, alendronate increased the expression and phosphorylation levels of STAT1 in osteoclasts, enhanced osteoblast differentiation, upregulated the expression levels of alkaline phosphatase and osteocalcin, and increased the expression of osteoblast differentiation‑associated genes (osteocalcin, osterix and Runx2). Inhibition of IFN‑β expression canceled the benefits of alendronate‑mediated osteoblast differentiation. Notably, alendronate enhanced bone formation in rats with osteoporosis induced by ovariectomy. In conclusion, these findings suggest that alendronate can regulate osteoblast differentiation and bone formation in rats with osteoporosis induced by ovariectomy through upregulation of IFN‑β/STAT1 signaling pathway.