Kassem, M., Okasaki, R., De León, D.D., Harris, S.A., Spelsberg, T.C., Conover, C.A. and Riggs, B.L. 1996. Potential Mechanism for Estrogen-Mediated Decrease in Bone Formation: Estrogen increases Production of inhibitory Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein-4. Proceedings of the Association of American Physicians 108 (2):155-164. ( 3/1996 )
Using a recently developed human osteoblastic cell line (hFOB/ER9) with high levels (approximately 4,000 per nucleus) of estrogen receptors and the characteristic phenotype of the mature osteoblast, we tested the hypothesis that estrogen decreases bone formation by inhibiting the action of the insulin-like growth factor (IGF) paracrine/autocrine system. IGF-II, the predominant IGF produced by osteoblastic cells, was measurable in hFOB/ER9-conditioned medium (approximately 10 ng/mL) and its level did not change significantly after treatment with 17 beta-estradiol (E2) or anti-estrogens. Treatment with E2 at 0.1-100 nM decreased [3H]thymidine uptake to 53% of control (p < 0.001) in a dose-dependent fashion. The predominant IGF-binding proteins (IGFBPs) produced by hFOB/ER9 and by normal trabecular osteoblasts are IGFBP-3 and IGFBP-4, of which IGFBP-4 is consistently inhibitory of IGF action. Treatment with E2 at 0.01-10 nM for 48 h increased IGFBP-4 mRNA to 346% +/- 90% (mean +/- SE) of control (p < 0.05) and IGFBP-4 protein to 278% +/- 75% of control (p < 0.01) in a dose-dependent fashion but did not alter IGFBP-3 mRNA or protein. E2 treatment also attenuated IGF-dependent, IGFBP-4 specific proteolysis to approximately 50% of control. ICI 182,780, a pure anti-estrogen, completely blocked E2-mediated decreases in cell proliferation and increases in levels of IGFBP-4 mRNA and protein. Treatment of the hFOB/ER9 cells with recombinant human IGFBP-4 (200 ng/mL) decreased cell proliferation to 55% of control (p < 0.01). Thus, E2 acts on osteoblastic cells to increase availability of inhibitory IGFBP-4, by both increasing its production and decreasing its degradation, which may oppose the mitogenic effect of the IGFs on osteoblastic cells. This action may mediate, at least in part, the decreases in bone formation that are observed after estrogen treatment in vivo.