Evidence links osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease but the cellular and molecular mechanisms are unclear. Here we identify skeleton-secreted platelet-derived growth factor–BB (PDGF-BB) as a key mediator of arterial stiffening in response to aging and metabolic stress. Aged mice and those fed high-fat diet (HFD), relative to young mice and those fed normal chow food diet, respectively, had higher serum PDGF-BB and developed bone loss and arterial stiffening. Bone/bone marrow preosteoclasts in aged mice and HFD mice secrete an excessive amount of PDGF-BB, contributing to the elevated PDGF-BB in blood circulation. Conditioned medium prepared from preosteoclasts stimulated proliferation and migration of the vascular smooth muscle cells. Conditional transgenic mice, in which PDGF-BB is overexpressed in preosteoclasts, had 3-fold higher serum PDGF-BB concentration and developed simultaneous bone loss and arterial stiffening spontaneously at a young age. Conversely, in conditional knockout mice, in which PDGF-BB is deleted selectively in preosteoclasts, HFD did not affect serum PDGF-BB concentration; as a result, HFD-induced bone loss and arterial stiffening were attenuated. These studies confirm that preosteoclasts are a main source of excessive PDGF-BB in blood circulation during aging and metabolic stress and establish the role of skeleton-derived PDGF-BB as an important mediator of vascular stiffening.
Lakshmi Santhanam, Guanqiao Liu, Sandeep Jandu, Weiping Su, Bulouere P. Wodu, William Savage, Alan Poe, Xiaonan Liu, Lacy M. Alexander, Xu Cao, Mei Wan