Key words: Osteoblast — Carnitine — Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate — Alkaline phosphatase — Collagen Type I.
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract. Age-related bone loss eventually leads to osteopenia in men and women. The etiology of age-related bone loss is currently unknown; however, decreased osteoblast activity contributes to this phenomenon. In turn, osteoblast proliferation and function is dependent on energy production, thus the loss of energy production that occurs with age may account for the deficient osteoblast activity. Carnitine and dehydroepiandrosterone-sulfate (DHEAS), both of which decline with age, promote energy production through fatty acid metabolism. Thus, we hypothesized that carnitine and DHEAS would increase osteoblast activity in vitro. Accordingly, we measured the effect of carnitine and DHEAS on palmitic acid oxidation as a measure of energy production, and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity and collagen type I (COL) as indices of osteoblast function in primary porcine osteoblast-like cell cultures. Carnitine (10−3 and 10−1 M) but not DHEAS (10−9, 10−8, and 10−7 M) increased carnitine levels within the cells. Carnitine alone and in combination with DHEAS increased palmitic acid oxidation. Both carnitine and DHEAS alone and in an additive fashion increased ALP activity and COL levels. These results demonstrate that in osteoblast-like cells in vitro, energy production can be increased by carnitine and osteoblast protein production can be increased by both carnitine and DHEAS. These data suggest that carnitine and DHEAS supplementation in the elderly may stimulate osteoblast activity and decrease age-related bone loss.
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