Estrogen regulation of myokines that enhance osteoclast differentiation and activity

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Osteoporosis and sarcopenia are maladies of aging that negatively affect more women than men. In recent years, it has become apparent that bone and muscle are coupled not only mechanically as muscle pulls on bone, but also at a higher level with myokines, biochemical and molecular signaling occurring between cells of the two tissues. However, how estrogen deficiency in females impacts the chemical crosstalk between bone and muscle cells is not understood. We hypothesize that changes in estrogen signaling alters myokine expression and intensifies bone loss in women. In our present study, we demonstrate that conditioned media from ovariectomized or skeletal muscle deficient in estrogen receptor α (ERα) expression enhances osteoclast differentiation and activity. Using a cytokine array, we identified myokines that have altered expressions in response to loss of estrogen signaling in muscle. Lastly, we demonstrate that conditional deletion of ERα in skeletal muscle results in osteopenia due to an increase in the osteoclast surface per bone surface. Our results suggest that estrogen signaling modulates expression of myokines that regulate osteoclast differentiation and activity.