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  • Current studies have identified five


    Current studies have identified five orphan G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) that can be activated by free fatty acids (FFAs), GPR40, GPR41, GPR43, GPR84, and GPR120. Short-chain fatty acids (FAs) are specific agonists of GPR41 and GPR43 [21] and middle-chain FAs agonize GPR84 [22]. Long-chain FAs can activate GPR40 and GPR120 [23], [24]. However, the role of these FFAs in osteogenesis has not been clearly defined. Until now, GPR40 has been shown to be expressed in osteoclasts and osteocytes [25]. Furthermore, Wittrant et al. and Mabilleau et al. found that GPR40 can protect from bone loss via the inhibition of osteoclast differentiation [26] and can induce osteocyte apoptosis [25]. However, a direct role for GPR40 in osteoblasts has not been defined.
    Materials and methods
    Discussion To the best of our knowledge, the current study presented the first evidence that GPR40, also named FFAR1, played an essential role in bone formation and mediated Oxonic acid potassium salt induced osteogenic effect via Wnt/β-catenin signaling. We found that dose–response estrogen significantly promoted osteogeneic differentiation of murine BMMSCs via the GPR40-Wnt/β-catenin pathway. Furthermore, GW9508 (GPR40 agonist) markedly inhibited estrogen-deficient-induced bone loss and positively affected in vivo bone remodelling. Further studies will focus on investigating the functions of GPR40 in estrogen-mediated osteogenesis in vivo and the clinical significance of this gene pathway in the development of PMOP. Indeed, osteogenic dysfunction is related to various skeletal diseases including osteoporosis [38], a common pathogeny in postmenopausal women with reduced bone mass and density due to estrogen deficiency [39], [40], [41], [42]. Estrogen and its associated gene pathways play an essential role in osteogenic differentiation and contribute to PMOP progression. Although several signaling cascades that modulate osteogenesis have recently been identified [43], [44], [45], [46], it is largely unknown how estrogen modulates osteogenic differentiation. In our study, we found that GPR40 was modulated by dose–response estrogen and mediated estrogen-induced BMMSCs osteogenesis. GPR40 exemplified an increasing number of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) that are activated by free fatty acids. Until now the specificity of plasma membrane receptors for fatty acids appeared to be distinguished by the subset of fatty acids that they are activated by, GPR40 being activated by saturated and unsaturated long chain fatty acids and GPR120 being activated by long chain unsaturated fatty acids [23], [24]. Recently, GPR40 was found to be expressed in osteoclasts and osteocytes. Indeed, Wittrant et al. have reported that GPR40 protects against bone loss via inhibition of osteoclast differentiation. The authors used GPR40 knock-out mice and primary osteoclasts to investigate the role of GPR40 in bone loss. Furthermore, Mabilleau et al. have found that GPR40 modulates osteocyte apoptosis [25]. Based on these findings, we performed experiment related to osteoblastic cells and tested whether GPR40 expression could also modulate osteogenesis. Our results showed that a GPR40 agonist markedly increased BMMSC osteogenic potential, while reduced it by a GPR40 inhibitor. Furthermore, dose–response estrogen activated GPR40, which subsequently modulated estrogen-induced osteogenesis. These data provided evidence for a relationship between estrogen, fatty acids and osteogenesis. Indeed, previous studies have shown a link between estrogen, fatty acids and bone metabolism. For example, Bonnelye et al. found that estrogen receptor related receptor alpha (ERR alpha) was activated by coactivators, such as PGC alpha and beta, and it was implicated in fatty acid oxidation and bone resorption [47]. Harada et al. showed that the novel flavonoid Nobiletin suppressed bone resorption by inhibiting prostaglandin E synthesis in osteoblasts and prevented estrogen-deficiency induced bone loss [48]. Moreover, some studies have indicated that estrogen modulated ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) [49], [50], [51], [52], which have been shown to positively regulate bone formation and remodelling [53], [54], [55], [56]. However, the detailed molecular mechanism linking estrogen, fatty acids and bone metabolism are poorly defined.