Many bone diseases such as osteoporosis and periodontitis are caused by hyperactivation of osteoclasts. Calcium (Ca2+) signals are crucial for osteoclast differentiation and function. Thus, the blockade of Ca2+ signaling may be a strategy for regulating osteoclast activity and has clinical implications. Flunarizine (FN) is a Ca2+ channel antagonist that has been used for reducing migraines. However, the role of FN in osteoclast differentiation and function remains unknown. Here, we investigated whether FN regulates osteoclastogenesis and elucidated the molecular mechanism. FN inhibited osteoclast differentiation along with decreased expression of nuclear factor of activated T cells, cytoplasmic 1 (NFATc1), and attenuated osteoclast maturation and bone resorption. FN inhibition of osteoclast differentiation was restored by ectopic expression of constitutively active NFATc1. FN reduced calcium oscillations and its inhibition of osteoclast differentiation and resorption function was reversed by ionomycin, an ionophore that binds Ca2+. FN also inhibited Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase IV (CaMKIV) and calcineurin leading to a decrease in the cAMP-responsive element-binding protein-dependent cFos and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ coactivator 1β expression, and NFATc1 nuclear translocation. These results indicate that FN inhibits osteoclastogenesis via regulating CaMKIV and calcineurin as a Ca2+ channel blocker. In addition, FN-induced apoptosis in osteoclasts and promoted osteogenesis. Furthermore, FN protected lipopolysaccharide- and ovariectomy-induced bone destruction in mouse models, suggesting that it has therapeutic potential for treating inflammatory bone diseases and postmenopausal osteoporosis.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by grants from the National Research Foundation of Korea (2021R1A2B5B02002516, 2019R1C1C1011198 and 2019R1A5A6099645). G.‐R. Lee was supported by RP‐Grant 2019 of Ewha Womans University.
© 2021 Wiley Periodicals LLC