Regulation of osteocalcin secretion by human primary bone cells and by the human osteosarcoma cell line MG-63

Daniel Lajeunesse, Gary M. Kiebzak, Carmelita Frondoza, Bertram Sacktor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations


We present evidence that the regulation of osteocalcin secretion by PTH and PGE2 in normal human bone cells can be produced in the human osteoblast-like cell line MG-63. Both cell cultures showed time-and dose-dependent stimulation of osteocalcin secretion in response to 1,25(OH)2D3. Bovine parathyroid hormone (PTH) amino acid fragment 1-34 (40 nM) and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2, 5 nM) significantly inhibited 1,25(OH)2D3-induced osteocalcin secretion by these cells. The inhibition reached 20 and 36%, respectively. In contrast, PTH 3-34 had no effect on osteocalcin secretion. Both cell cultures produced cAMP in response to PTH. Dexamethasone (Dex) (100 nM) potentiated PTH-induced (40 nM) cAMP synthesis in subconfluent MG-63 cells (1.5-fold increase, P < 0.05). This treatment with Dex resulted in a greater inhibition of 1,25(OH)2D3-induced osteocalcin secretion (-30%, P < 0.005) by PTH in MG-63 cells as compared to cells exposed to PTH and 1,25(OH)2D3 alone. Pretreatment of subconfluent MG-63 cells with Dex (100 nM) for 48 h also increased 1,25(OH)2D3-induced osteocalcin secretion by 40% (P < 0.025). In contrast, treatments of confluent MG-63 cells with Dex inhibited osteocalcin secretion regardless of the 1,25(OH)2D3 doses used. Forskolin (10-7-10-5 M) and dibutyryl cAMP (10-6-10-3 M) both reproduced the effects observed with PTH and PGE2 in the two cell cultures. Forskolin's action was time-dependent: addition of forskolin (10-6 M) 12 h after 1,25(OH)2D3 (50 nM) resulted in a progressively weaker inhibition of osteocalcin secretion. Increasing the extracellular calcium concentration of the incubation media resulted in a dose-dependent increase in osteocalcin secretion (P < 0.01). These results indicate that PTH and PGE2 inhibit osteocalcin secretion by a mechanism involving cAMP production. In contrast, an increase in extracellular calcium stimulated osteocalcin release. Thus the human osteosarcoma cell line MG-63 is a useful osteoblast-like cell model to study the regulation of osteocalcin secretion. Furthermore, a factor (or factors) between hormone-receptor coupling and gene induction can regulate the expression of the osteocalcin gene or affect pre- or posttranslational mechanisms implicated in osteocalcin synthesis and secretion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)237-250
Number of pages14
JournalBone and Mineral
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1991


  • Human normal osteoblast-like cell
  • Human osteosarcoma cell line MG-63
  • Osteocalcin secretion
  • Parathyroid hormone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology


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