Bone formation is indirectly influenced by 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25D3) through the stimulation of calcium uptake in the intestine and re-absorption in the kidneys. Direct effects on osteoblasts and bone formation have also been established. The vitamin D receptor (VDR) is expressed in osteoblasts and 1,25D3 modifies gene expression of various osteoblast differentiation and mineralization-related genes, such as alkaline phosphatase (ALPL), osteocalcin (BGLAP), and osteopontin (SPP1). 1,25D3 is known to stimulate mineralization of human osteoblasts in vitro, and recently it was shown that 1,25D3 induces mineralization via effects in the period preceding mineralization during the pre-mineralization period. For a full understanding of the action of 1,25D3 in osteoblasts it is important to get an integrated network view of the 1,25D3-regulated genes during osteoblast differentiation and mineralization. The current data will be presented and discussed alluding to future studies to fully delineate the 1,25D3 action in osteoblast. Describing and understanding the vitamin D regulatory networks and identifying the dominant players in these networks may help develop novel (personalized) vitamin D-based treatments. The following topics will be discussed in this overview: (1) Bone metabolism and osteoblasts, (2) Vitamin D, bone metabolism and osteoblast function, (3) Vitamin D induced transcriptional networks in the context of osteoblast differentiation and bone formation.

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Frontiers in Physiology
Department of Internal Medicine

van de Peppel, J., & van Leeuwen, H. (2014). Vitamin D and gene networks in human osteoblasts. Frontiers in Physiology (Vol. 5 APR). doi:10.3389/fphys.2014.00137