Deletion of FNDC5/Irisin modifies murine osteocyte function in a sex-specific manner

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Deletion of FNDC5/Irisin modifies murine osteocyte function in a sex-specific manner

Authors

Shimonty, A.; Pin, F.; Prideaux, M.; Peng, G.; Huot, J.; Kim, H.; Rosen, C. j.; Spiegelman, B. M.; Bonewald, L. F.

Abstract

Irisin, released from exercised muscle, has been shown to have beneficial effects on numerous tissues but its effects on bone are unclear. We found significant sex and genotype differences in bone from wildtype (WT) mice compared to mice lacking Fndc5 (KO), with and without calcium deficiency. Despite their bone being indistinguishable from WT females, the KO female mice were partially protected from osteocytic osteolysis and osteoclastic bone resorption when allowed to lactate or when placed on a low-calcium diet. Male KO mice have more but weaker bone compared to WT males, and when challenged with a low-calcium diet lost more bone than WT males. To begin to understand molecular mechanisms, osteocyte transcriptomics was performed. Osteocytes from WT females had greater expression of genes associated with osteocytic osteolysis and osteoclastic bone resorption compared to WT males which had greater expression of genes associated with steroid and fatty acid metabolism compared to WT females. Few differences were observed between female KO and WT mice, but with a low calcium diet, the KO females had lower expression of genes responsible for osteocytic osteolysis and osteoclastic resorption than the WT females. Male KO osteocytes had lower expression of genes associated with steroid and fatty acid metabolism, but higher expression of genes associated with bone resorption compared to male WT. In conclusion, irisin plays a critical role in the development of the male but not the female skeleton and protects male but not female bone from calcium deficiency. We propose irisin ensures the survival of offspring by targeting the osteocyte to provide calcium in lactating females, a novel function for this myokine.

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