Tatsuki Yamamoto, Mika Ikegame, Yukihiro Furusawa, Yoshiaki Tabuchi, Kaito Hatano, Kazuki Watanabe, Umi Kawago, Jun Hirayama, Sachiko Yano, Toshio Sekiguchi, Kei-ichiro Kitamura, Masato Endo, Arata Nagami, Hajime Matsubara, Yusuke Maruyama, Atsuhiko Hattori, Nobuo Suzuki
Zoological Science 39 (4), 388-396, (5 April 2022) https://doi.org/10.2108/zs210107
KEYWORDS: hypergravity, microgravity, osteoclasts, osteoblasts, fish scales, bone metabolism, goldfish, biological space experiments
It is known that the bone matrix plays an important role in the response to physical stresses such as hypergravity and microgravity. In order to accurately analyze the response of bone to hypergravity and microgravity, a culture system under the conditions of coexistence of osteoclasts, osteoblasts, and bone matrix was earnestly desired. The teleost scale is a unique calcified organ in which osteoclasts, osteoblasts, and the two layers of bone matrix, i.e., a bony layer and a fibrillary layer, coexist. Therefore, we have developed in vitro organ culture systems of osteoclasts and osteoblasts with the intact bone matrix using goldfish scales. Using the scale culture system, we examined the effects of hypergravity with a centrifuge and simulated ground microgravity (g-µG) with a three-dimensional clinostat on osteoclasts and osteoblasts. Under 3-gravity (3G) loading for 1 day, osteoclastic marker mRNA expression levels decreased, while the mRNA expression of the osteoblastic marker increased. Upon 1 day of exposure, the simulated g-µG induced remarkable enhancement of osteoclastic marker mRNA expression, whereas the osteoblastic marker mRNA expression decreased. In response to these gravitational stimuli, osteoclasts underwent major morphological changes. By simulated g-µG treatments, morphological osteoclastic activation was induced, while osteoclastic deactivation was observed in the 3G-treated scales. In space experiments, the results that had been obtained with simulated g-µG were reproduced. RNA-sequencing analysis showed that osteoclastic activation was induced by the down-regulation of Wnt signaling under flight-microgravity. Thus, goldfish scales can be utilized as a bone model to analyze the responses of osteoclasts and osteoblasts to gravity.