Skeletal bone formation and maintenance requires coordinate functions of several cell types, including bone forming osteoblasts and bone resorbing osteoclasts. Gsα, the stimulatory subunit of heterotrimeric G proteins, activates downstream signaling through cAMP and plays important roles in skeletal development by regulating osteoblast differentiation. Here, we demonstrate that Gsα signaling also regulates osteoclast differentiation during bone modeling and remodeling. Gnas, the gene encoding Gsα, is imprinted. Mice with paternal allele deletion of Gnas (Gnas+/p-) have defects in cortical bone quality and strength during early development (bone modeling) that persist during adult bone remodeling. Reduced bone quality in Gnas+/p- mice was associated with increased endosteal osteoclast numbers, with no significant effects on osteoblast number and function. Osteoclast differentiation and resorption activity was enhanced in Gnas+/p- cells. During differentiation, Gnas+/p- cells showed diminished pCREB, β-catenin and cyclin D1, and enhanced Nfatc1 levels, conditions favoring osteoclastogenesis. Forskolin treatment increased pCREB and rescued osteoclast differentiation in Gnas+/p- by reducing Nfatc1 levels. Cortical bone of Gnas+/p- mice showed elevated expression of Wnt inhibitors sclerostin and Sfrp4 consistent with reduced Wnt/β-catenin signaling. Our data identify a new role for Gsα signaling in maintaining bone quality by regulating osteoclast differentiation and function through cAMP/PKA and Wnt/β-catenin pathways.
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