Osteoblasts contribute to the regulation of cartilage metabolism and bone remodeling.
We have shown previously that induction of heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) protects OA cartilage against inflammatory and degradative responses.
In this study, we investigated the effects of HO-1 induction on OA osteoblast metabolism. HO-1 was induced with cobalt protoporphyrin IX (CoPP) and by transduction with LV-HO-1. In osteoblasts stimulated with interleukin (IL)-1β, CoPP enhanced mineralization, the expression of a number of markers of osteoblast differentiation such as Runx2, bone morphogenetic protein-2, osteocalcin, and collagen 1A1 and 1A2, as well as the ratio osteoprotegerin/receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB ligand. HO-1 induction significantly reduced the expression of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-1, MMP-2 and MMP-3, and the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor-α and IL-6 whereas IL-10 levels increased. HO-1 also exerted inhibitory effects on prostaglandin (PG)E(2) production which could be dependent on cyclooxygenase-2 and microsomal PGE synthase-1 down-regulation. The activity of senescence-associated β-galactosidase and the expression of the senescence marker caveolin-1 were significantly decreased after HO-1 induction.
The inhibition of nuclear factor-κB activation induced by IL-1β in OA osteoblasts may contribute to some HO-1 effects.
Our results have shown that HO-1 decreases the production of relevant inflammatory and catabolic mediators that participate in OA pathophysiology thus eliciting protective effects in OA osteoblasts.