Research Article

γ-Aminobutyric Acid Promotes Osteogenic Differentiation of Mesenchymal Stem Cells by Inducing TNFAIP3

Author(s): Hanwen Li, Yongyao Wu, Ning Huang, Qi Zhao, Quan Yuan* and Bin Shao*

Volume 20, Issue 2, 2020

Page: [152 - 161] Pages: 10

DOI: 10.2174/1566523220999200727122502

Price: $65


Background: Osteoporosis is the most common metabolic bone disease. There is still an unmet need for novel therapeutic agents that could be beneficial as osteoporosis treatments. It has been reported that the neurotransmitter γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) might be associated with human bone formation. However, the precise mechanism remains unclear.

Objective: To investigate the effect of GABA on bone metabolism and explore the possible role of TNFAIP3 in this process.

Methods: GABA had little effect on the proliferation of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) and RAW 264.7 cells, as indicated by the cell counting kit-8 (CCK-8) assay. The results showed that GABA enhanced the intensity of ALP staining, ALP activity, and accumulation of Ca2+ mineralized nodules in hMSCs during osteogenic induction.

Results: The qRT-PCR results indicated that GABA treatment significantly increased the mRNA expression of osteogenic genes in hMSCs. In RAW 264.7 cells, TRAP staining showed that GABA did not alter the number or size of osteoclasts or the expression of osteoclastic genes, which suggests that GABA does not affect osteoclastic differentiation. Mechanistically, GABA treatment significantly induced the sustained expression of TNFAIP3. Furthermore, by knocking down TNFAIP3, the osteogenic effect of GABA was antagonized, which suggests that TNFAIP3 mediates the effects of GABA in hMSCs.

Conclusion: Our results suggested that GABA treatment positively regulated osteogenic differentiation by upregulating TNFAIP3, while no obvious effect on osteoclastic differentiation was detected. Therefore, our results provide a potential gene therapy for the treatment of osteoporosis and low bone mineral density.

Keywords: GABA, osteoporosis, osteoblasts, osteoclasts, MSCs, TNFAIP3.

Graphical Abstract
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