Bone formation and maintenance represents the summation of the balance of local and endocrine hormonal stimuli within a complex organ. Protein kinase D (PKD) is a member of the Ca2+/calmodulin- dependent kinase superfamily of serine/threonine kinases and has been described as the crossroads for the bone morphogenetic protein (BMP)-IGF-I signaling axis, which plays a major role in bone formation. The current study exploits the PKD1-deficient mouse model to examine the role of PKD in vivo in the skeleton. Dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry scan analysis of male and female pubescent mice demonstrated significantly decreased bone mineral density in the whole body and femoral bone compartments of PKD1 (+/-) mice, compared with their wild-type littermates. The body weight, nasal-anal length, and percentage body fat of the mice were not significantly different from their wild-type littermates. Cultured bone marrow stromal cells from PKD1 (+/-) mice demonstrated lower alkaline phosphatase activity in early differentiating osteoblasts and decreased mineralized nodule formation in mature osteoblasts. Quantitative RT-PCR analysis of osteoblast differentiation markers and osteoclast markers exhibited lower levels of expression in PKD1 (+/-) male mice than wild type. In female mice, however, only markers of osteoblast differentiation were reduced. PKD1 (+/-) mice also demonstrated a profound reduction in mRNA expression levels of BMP type II receptor and IGF-I receptor and in BMP-7 responsiveness in vitro. Together these data suggest that in mice, PKD1 action contributes to the regulation of osteoblastogenesis by altering gene expression with gender-specific effects on osteoclastogenesis, subsequently affecting skeletal matrix acquisition during puberty.
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