Osteogenic-angiogenic coupling is promoted by the hypoxia-inducible factor 1-alpha (HIF-1α) transcription factor, provoking interest in HIF activation as a therapeutic strategy to improve osteoblast mineralization and treat pathological osteolysis. However, HIF also enhances the bone-resorbing activity of mature osteoclasts. It is therefore essential to determine the full effect(s) of HIF on both the formation and the bone-resorbing function of osteoclasts in order to understand how they might respond to such a strategy. Expression of HIF-1α mRNA and protein increased during osteoclast differentiation from CD14+ monocytic precursors, additionally inducing expression of the HIF-regulated glycolytic enzymes. However, HIF-1α siRNA only moderately affected osteoclast differentiation, accelerating fusion of precursor cells. HIF induction by inhibition of the regulatory prolyl-4-hydroxylase (PHD) enzymes reduced osteoclastogenesis, but was confirmed to enhance bone resorption by mature osteoclasts. Phd2+/- murine osteoclasts also exhibited enhanced bone resorption, associated with increased expression of resorption-associated Acp5, in comparison with wild-type cells from littermate controls. Phd3-/- bone marrow precursors displayed accelerated early fusion, mirroring results with HIF-1α siRNA. In vivo, Phd2+/- and Phd3-/- mice exhibited reduced trabecular bone mass, associated with reduced mineralization by Phd2+/- osteoblasts. These data indicate that HIF predominantly functions as a regulator of osteoclast-mediated bone resorption, with little effect on osteoclast differentiation. Inhibition of HIF might therefore represent an alternative strategy to treat diseases characterized by pathological levels of osteolysis. © 2017 The Authors. The Journal of Pathology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland.
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PHD2, bone resorption, differentiation, hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF), osteoclast, Animals, Bone Resorption, Cancellous Bone, Cell Adhesion, Cell Differentiation, Female, Humans, Hypoxia-Inducible Factor 1, alpha Subunit, Hypoxia-Inducible Factor-Proline Dioxygenases, Leukocytes, Mononuclear, Mice, Osteoclasts, Osteogenesis, Prolyl Hydroxylases, RNA, Messenger