Mechanical strain downregulates C/EBPβ in MSC and decreases endoplasmic reticulum stress.

Academic Article


  • Exercise prevents marrow mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) adipogenesis, reversing trends that accompany aging and osteoporosis. Mechanical input, the in-vitro analogue to exercise, limits PPARγ expression and adipogenesis in MSC. We considered whether C/EBPβ might be mechanoresponsive as it is upstream to PPARγ, and also is known to upregulate endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. MSC (C3H10T1/2 pluripotent cells as well as mouse marrow-derived MSC) were cultured in adipogenic media and a daily mechanical strain regimen was applied. We demonstrate herein that mechanical strain represses C/EBPβ mRNA (0.6-fold ±0.07, p<0.05) and protein (0.4-fold ±0.1, p<0.01) in MSC. SiRNA silencing of β-catenin prevented mechanical repression of C/EBPβ. C/EBPβ overexpression did not override strain's inhibition of adipogenesis, which suggests that mechanical control of C/EBPβ is not the primary site at which adipogenesis is regulated. Mechanical inhibition of C/EBPβ, however, might be critical for further processes that regulate MSC health. Indeed, overexpression of C/EBPβ in MSC induced ER stress evidenced by a dose-dependent increase in the pro-apoptotic CHOP (protein 4-fold ±0.5, p<0.05) and a threshold reduction in the chaperone BiP (protein 0.6-fold ±0.1, p = 0.2; mRNA 0.3-fold ±0.1, p<0.01). ChIP-seq demonstrated a significant association between C/EBPβ and both CHOP and BiP genes. The strain regimen, in addition to decreasing C/EBPβ mRNA (0.5-fold ±0.09, p<0.05), expanded ER capacity as measured by an increase in BiP mRNA (2-fold ±0.2, p<0.05) and protein. Finally, ER stress induced by tunicamycin was ameliorated by mechanical strain as demonstrated by decreased C/EBPβ, increased BiP and decreased CHOP protein expression. Thus, C/EBPβ is a mechanically responsive transcription factor and its repression should counter increases in marrow fat as well as improve skeletal resistance to ER stress.
  • Published In

  • PLoS ONE  Journal
  • Keywords

  • Adipogenesis, Animals, CCAAT-Enhancer-Binding Protein-beta, Down-Regulation, Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress, Mesenchymal Stem Cells, Mice, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Stress, Mechanical, Tunicamycin
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Styner M; Meyer MB; Galior K; Case N; Xie Z; Sen B; Thompson WR; Pike JW; Rubin J
  • Start Page

  • e51613
  • Volume

  • 7
  • Issue

  • 12