FGF-2 targets sclerostin in bone and myostatin in skeletal muscle to mitigate the deleterious effects of glucocorticoid on musculoskeletal degradation

Sulekha Adhikary, Dharmendra Choudhary, Ashish Kumar Tripathi, Anirudha Karvande, Naseer Ahmad, Priyanka Kothari, Ritu Trivedi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Aim: Myokines are associated with regulation of bone and muscle mass. However, limited information is available regarding the impact of myokines on glucocorticoid (GC)mediated adverse effects on the musculoskeletal system. This study investigates the role of myokine fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2)in regulating GC-induced deleterious effects on bone and skeletal muscle. Methods: Primary osteoblast cells and C2C12 myoblast cell line were treated with FGF-2 and then exposed to dexamethasone (GC). FGF-2 mediated attenuation of the inhibitory effect of GC on osteoblast and myoblast differentiation and muscle atrophy was assessed through quantitative PCR and western blot analysis. Further, FGF-2 was administered subcutaneously to dexamethasone treated mice to collect bone and skeletal muscle tissue for in vivo analysis of bone microarchitecture, mechanical strength, histomorphometry and for histological alterations in treated tissue samples. Key findings: FGF-2 abrogated the dexamethasone induced inhibitory effect on osteoblast differentiation by modulating BMP-2 pathway and inhibiting Wnt antagonist sclerostin. Further, dexamethasone induced atrophy in C2C12 cells was mitigated by FGF-2 as evident from down regulation of atrogenes expression. FGF-2 prevented GC-induced impairment of mineral density, biomechanical strength, trabecular bone volume, cortical thickness and bone formation rate in mice. Additionally, skeletal muscle tissue from GC treated mice displayed weak myostatin immunostaining and reduced expression of atrogenes following FGF-2 treatment. Significance: FGF-2 mitigated GC induced effects through inhibition of sclerostin and myostatin expression in bone and muscle respectively. Taken together, this study exhibited the role of exogenous FGF-2 in sustaining osteoblastogenesis and inhibiting muscle atrophy in presence of glucocorticoid.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-276
Number of pages16
JournalLife Sciences
StatePublished - 15 Jul 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • FGF-2
  • Glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis
  • Myostatin
  • Skeletal muscle atrophy
  • Wnt/β-catenin


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