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Expression of muscarinic acetylcholine receptors M3 and M5 in osteoporosis

Vivien Kauschke, Katrin Susanne Lips, Christian Heiss, Reinhard Schnettler

( Laboratory of Experimental Trauma Surgery, Justus-Liebig-University Giessen, Giessen, Germany)

Med Sci Monit 2014; 20:869-874

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.890217


Background: Cholinergic signaling via muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (mAChR) is known to influence various physiological functions. In bone, M3 mAChR and M5 mAChR were identified on the membrane of osteoblast-like cells. M3 mAChR seems to be particularly relevant for bone physiology, as signaling via this receptor was reported to increase bone formation and decrease bone resorption. Thus, in the present study we investigated the relative mRNA expression of M3 and M5 mAChR in bones of a rat osteoporosis model.
Material and Methods: Osteoporosis was induced in Sprague-Dawley rats by bilateral ovariectomy and additional feeding of a diet deficient in calcium, vitamins C, D2, D3, and phosphorus, and free of soy and phytoestrogen. After a period of 3, 12, and 14 months, relative mRNA expression of M3 mAChR and M5 mAChR was analyzed in the 11th thoracic vertebra by real-time RT-PCR.
Results: Relative mRNA expression of M3 mAChR was significantly reduced in bones of osteoporotic rats compared to sham operated animals that served as controls. Further, M3 mAChR mRNA expression was significantly down-regulated when comparing 14-month osteoporotic rats to 3-month osteoporotic rats. Relative M5 mAChR mRNA was expressed to a lesser extent than M3 mAChR and did not show significant differences in mRNA expression level between the experimental groups.
Conclusions: M3 mAChR mRNA expression was reduced upon induction of osteoporosis and progression of disease was associated with further decrease of this receptor, indicating that M3 mAChR is involved in the development and regulation of osteoporosis.

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