Inhibition of Osteocyte Membrane Repair Activity via Dietary Vitamin E Deprivation Impairs Osteocyte Survival

Mackenzie L. Hagan, Anoosh Bahraini, Jessica L. Pierce, Sarah M. Bass, Kanglun Yu, Ranya Elsayed, Mohammed Elsayed Elsalanty, Maribeth H. Johnson, Anna McNeil, Paul L McNeil, Meghan E. McGee-Lawrence

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Osteocytes experience plasma membrane disruptions (PMD) that initiate mechanotransduction both in vitro and in vivo in response to mechanical loading, suggesting that osteocytes use PMD to sense and adapt to mechanical stimuli. PMD repair is crucial for cell survival; antioxidants (e.g., alpha-tocopherol, also known as Vitamin E) promote repair while reactive oxygen species (ROS), which can accumulate during exercise, inhibit repair. The goal of this study was to determine whether depleting Vitamin E in the diet would impact osteocyte survival and bone adaptation with loading. Male CD-1 mice (3 weeks old) were fed either a regular diet (RD) or Vitamin E-deficient diet (VEDD) for up to 11 weeks. Mice from each dietary group either served as sedentary controls with normal cage activity, or were subjected to treadmill exercise (one bout of exercise or daily exercise for 5 weeks). VEDD-fed mice showed more PMD-affected osteocytes (+ 50%) after a single exercise bout suggesting impaired PMD repair following Vitamin E deprivation. After 5 weeks of daily exercise, VEDD mice failed to show an exercise-induced increase in osteocyte PMD formation, and showed signs of increased osteocytic oxidative stress and impaired osteocyte survival. Surprisingly, exercise-induced increases in cortical bone formation rate were only significant for VEDD-fed mice. This result may be consistent with previous studies in skeletal muscle, where myocyte PMD repair failure (e.g., with muscular dystrophy) initially triggers hypertrophy but later leads to widespread degeneration. In vitro, mechanically wounded MLO-Y4 cells displayed increased post-wounding necrosis (+ 40-fold) in the presence of H 2 O 2 , which could be prevented by Vitamin E pre-treatment. Taken together, our data support the idea that antioxidant-influenced osteocyte membrane repair is a vital aspect of bone mechanosensation in the osteocytic control of PMD-driven bone adaptation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)224-234
Number of pages11
JournalCalcified Tissue International
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 15 2019


  • Alpha-tocopherol
  • Bone
  • Mechanical loading
  • Mechanotransduction
  • Osteocyte
  • Skeleton
  • Vitamin E

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Endocrinology


Dive into the research topics of 'Inhibition of Osteocyte Membrane Repair Activity via Dietary Vitamin E Deprivation Impairs Osteocyte Survival'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this