Human osteoblastic cells propagate intercellular calcium signals by two different mechanisms

Niklas R. Jørgensen, Zanne Henriksen, Christine Brot, Erik F. Eriksen, Ole H. Sørensen, Roberto Civitelli, Thomas H. Steinberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

103 Scopus citations


Effective bone remodeling requires the coordination of bone matrix deposition by osteoblastic cells, which may occur via soluble mediators or via direct intercellular communication. We have previously identified two mechanisms by which rat osteoblastic cell lines coordinate calcium signaling among cells: autocrine activation of P2 (purinergic) receptors leading to release of intracellular calcium stores, and gap junction-mediated communication resulting in influx of extracellular calcium. In the current work we asked whether human osteoblastic cells (HOB) were capable of mechanically induced intercellular calcium signaling, and if so, by which mechanisms. Upon mechanical stimulation, human osteoblasts propagated fast intercellular calcium waves, which required activation of P2 receptors and release of intracellular calcium stores but did not require calcium influx or gap junctional communication. After the fast intercellular calcium waves were blocked, we observed slower calcium waves that were dependent on gap junctional communication and influx of extracellular calcium. These results show that human osteoblastic cells can propagate calcium signals from cell to cell by two markedly different mechanisms and suggest that these two pathways may serve different purposes in coordinating osteoblast functions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1024-1032
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Bone and Mineral Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2000


  • Calcium
  • Cell-cell communication
  • Gap junctions
  • Osteoblast
  • P2 receptors


Dive into the research topics of 'Human osteoblastic cells propagate intercellular calcium signals by two different mechanisms'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this