In vivo mechanical loading modulates insulin-like growth factor binding protein-2 gene expression in rat osteocytes

C. M.A. Reijnders, N. Bravenboer, P. J. Holzmann, F. Bhoelan, M. A. Blankenstein, P. Lips

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28 Citations (Scopus)


Mechanical stimulation is essential for maintaining skeletal integrity. Mechanosensitive osteocytes are important during the osteogenic response. The growth hormone-insulin-like growth factor (GH-IGF) axis plays a key role during regulation of bone formation and remodeling. Insulin-like growth factor binding proteins (IGFBPs) are able to modulate IGF activity. The aim of this study was to characterize the role of IGFBP-2 in the translation of mechanical stimuli into bone formation locally in rat tibiae. Female Wistar rats were assigned to three groups (n = 5): load, sham, and control. The four-point bending model was used to induce a single period of mechanical loading on the tibial shaft. The effect on IGFBP-2 mRNA expression 6 hours after stimulation was determined with nonradioactive in situ hybridization on decalcified tibial sections. Endogenous IGFBP-2 mRNA was expressed in trabecular and cortical osteoblasts, some trabecular and subendocortical osteocytes, intracortical endothelial cells of blood vessels, and periosteum. Megakaryocytes, macrophages, and myeloid cells also expressed IGFBP-2 mRNA. Loading and sham loading did not affect IGFBP-2 mRNA expression in osteoblasts, bone marrow cells, and chondrocytes. An increase of IGFBP-2 mRNA-positive osteocytes was shown in loaded (1.68-fold) and sham-loaded (1.35-fold) endocortical tibial shaft. In conclusion, 6 hours after a single loading session, the number of IGFBP-2 mRNA-expressing osteocytes at the endosteal side of the shaft and inner lamellae was increased in squeezed and bended tibiae. Mechanical stimulation modulates IGFBP-2 mRNA expression in endocortical osteocytes. We suggest that IGFBP-2 plays a role in the lamellar bone formation process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-143
Number of pages7
JournalCalcified tissue international
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2007


  • Four-point bending system
  • IGFBP-2 mRNA expression
  • In vivo
  • Mechanical loading
  • Nonradioactive in situ hybridization

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