Dexamethasone treatment alters function of adipocytes from a mesenchymal stromal cell line

James C. Johnston, Azeb Haile, Dongqing Wang, Gabriele Ronnett, Lynne C. Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Osteoporosis and osteonecrosis are associated with corticosteroid treatment, but the pathophysiologies are unclear. We hypothesized that mature adipocytes present within the bone marrow compartment play a key role in the development of both diseases. Adipocytes have recognized regulatory effects on bone viability and healing by releasing signaling molecules called adipokines. Our purpose was to evaluate whether dexamethasone alters adipokine expression in differentiated bone-marrow-derived adipocytes. Adipocytes differentiated from mouse D1 mesenchymal stromal cells were treated with dexamethasone (10-5, 10-6, 10-7, or 10-8 M) or with diluent alone (controls) for up to 6 days. Using real-time polymerase chain reaction and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay analyses, six key adipokines and the transcription factor HIF-1α were evaluated. Dexamethasone treatment increased PAI-1 protein expression with increased mRNA expression at 4 days, while decreasing HIF-1α mRNA expression and protein concentrations. VEGF A mRNA expression was increased at 4 days for most dexamethasone concentrations, with minimal changes in protein levels. Dexamethasone increased adiponectin mRNA expression and protein levels at 4 and 6 days and decreased leptin, interleukin-6, and tumor necrosis factor α mRNA expression at all time periods. Dexamethasone treatment of bone-marrow-derived adipocytes resulted in detectable changes in mRNA expression and protein levels of adipokines and HIF-1α. The detected adipokine alterations could be important early events in the pathogenesis of steroid-induced osteonecrosis and osteoporosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)473-479
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 5 2014


  • Adipocytes
  • Corticosteroids
  • Osteonecrosis
  • Osteoporosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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