Journal of Bone and Mineral Research vol:6 issue:10 pages:1081-90
The identification of the plasminogen activator (PA) types present in bone and the regulation of their activity by parathyroid hormone (PTH) were investigated in cultures of fetal mouse calvariae with the use of either a chromogenic substrate or a zymographic assay. PA was detected essentially in the tissue extracts of the explanted bones, with only 1-2% of the total activity released in the surrounding culture media. From their electrophoretic behavior compared to PAs of other mouse tissues and from their response to a specific antibody raised against the tissue type PA (tPA), two major molecular species, of 70 and 48 kD were identified as tPA and urokinase (uPA), respectively, a third minor species of 105 kD being likely to correspond to complexes between tPA and an inhibitor; the culture fluids, moreover, contained enzymatically active degradation products of uPA of 42 and 29 kD. The PA activity of the bone extracts was only minimally affected by the addition of fibrinogen fragments to the chromogenic assays. PTH induced bone resorption and stimulated in parallel the accumulation of PA in the tissue; other bone-resorbing agents, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 and prostaglandin E2, had similar effects. Densitometric scanning of the zymograms of the bone extracts indicated that PTH stimulated only the production of tPA and had no effect on that of uPA. However, PTH also enhanced the release of uPA (both the 48 kD and the 29 kD forms) from the bones into the media. Although inhibiting bone resorption, calcitonin had no effect on the PTH-induced accumulation of PA in bone or on the release of tPA, but it prevented the PTH-induced accumulation of 29 kD uPA in the culture fluids. Thus these studies support the view that tPA and possibly also uPA may have a role in the physiology of bone; the nature of this role remains to be elucidated, however.