Osteocytes, osteoblasts (bone-forming cells), and osteoclasts (bone-resorbing cells) are the primary types of cells that regulate bone metabolism in mammals. Sclerostin produced in bone cells acti-vates osteoclasts, inhibiting bone formation; excess production of sclerostin, therefore, leads to the loss of bone mass. Fish scales have been reported to have morphological and functional similari-ties to mammalian bones, making them a useful experimental system for analyzing vertebrate bone metabolism in vitro. However, whether fish scales contain cells producing sclerostin and/or osteocytes has not been determined. The current study demonstrated, for the first time, that scle-rostin-containing cells exist in goldfish scales. Analysis of the distribution and shape of scleros-tin-expressing cells provided evidence that osteoblasts produce sclerostin in goldfish scales. Furthermore, our results found that osteocyte-like cells exist in goldfish scales, which also produce sclerostin. Finally, we demonstrated that microgravity in outer space increased the level of scleros-tin in the scales of goldfish, a finding suggesting that the induction of sclerostin is the mechanism underlying the activation of osteoclasts under microgravity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)