Release of nitric oxide, but not prostaglandin E2, by bone cells depends on fluid flow frequency

Margriet G Mullender, Saskia J Dijcks, Rommel G Bacabac, Cornelis M Semeins, Jack J W A Van Loon, Jenneke Klein-Nulend

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Loading frequency is an important parameter for the stimulation of bone formation in vivo. It is still unclear how the information of external loading characteristics is conveyed to osteoblasts and osteoclasts. Osteocytes are thought to detect mechanical loads by sensing fluid flow through the lacuno-canalicular network within bone and to translate this information into chemical signals. The signaling molecules nitric oxide (NO) and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) are known to play important roles in the adaptive response of bone to mechanical loads. We have investigated the effects of fluid flow frequency on the production of PGE2 and NO in bone cells in vitro. Pulsatile fluid flow with different frequencies stimulated the release of NO by MC3T3-E1 osteoblasts in a dose-dependent manner. In contrast, PGE2 production was enhanced consistently by all fluid flow regimes, independent of flow frequency. This implies that the NO response may play a role in mediating the differential effects of the various loading patterns on bone.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1170-7
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2006

Cite this