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Research Article

Inhibition of bone resorption in vitro by antisense RNA and DNA molecules targeted against carbonic anhydrase II or two subunits of vacuolar H(+)-ATPase.

T Laitala and H K Väänänen

Department of Anatomy, University of Oulu, Finland.

Published June 1994

The bone resorbing cells, osteoclasts, express high levels of carbonic anhydrase II (CA II) and vacuolar H(+)-ATPase (V-ATPase) during bone resorption. We have used antisense RNA and DNA molecules targeted against CA II, and against 16- and 60-kD subunits of vacuolar H(+)-ATPase (V-ATPase), to block the expression of these proteins in vitro. Osteoclastic bone resorption was studied in two in vitro culture systems: release of 45Calcium from prelabeled newborn mouse calvaria cultures, and resorption pit assays performed with rat osteoclasts cultured on bovine bone slices. Both antisense RNA and DNA against CA II and the V-ATPase were used to compare their specificities as regards inhibiting bone resorption in vitro. The antisense molecules inhibited the synthesis of these proteins by decreasing the amounts of mRNA in the cells in a highly specific manner. In osteoclast cultures treated with the 16-kD V-ATPase antisense RNA, acidification of an unknown population of intracellular vesicles was highly stimulated. The acidification of these vesicles was not sensitive to amiloride or bafilomycin A1. This suggests the existence of a back-up system for acidification of intracellular vesicles, when the expression of the V-ATPase is blocked. Our results further indicate that blocking the expression of CA II and V-ATPase with antisense RNA or DNA leads to decreased bone resorption.

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