Int J Biol Sci 2020; 16(14):2712-2726. doi:10.7150/ijbs.48169

Research Paper

SIRT1/FOXO3a axis plays an important role in the prevention of mandibular bone loss induced by 1,25(OH)2D deficiency

Haiyun Chen1, Xiaoqing Hu1, Renlei Yang1, Guoping Wu1, Qian Tan2, David Goltzman3, Dengshun Miao1✉

1. The Research Center for Aging, Affiliated Friendship Plastic Surgery Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing 210029, China.
2. Department of Burns and Plastic Surgery, The Drum Tower Clinical Medical College, Affiliated Drum Tower Hospital, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing 210008, China.
3. Calcium Research Laboratory, McGill University Health Centre and Department of Medicine, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec H3A 1A1, Canada.

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Chen H, Hu X, Yang R, Wu G, Tan Q, Goltzman D, Miao D. SIRT1/FOXO3a axis plays an important role in the prevention of mandibular bone loss induced by 1,25(OH)2D deficiency. Int J Biol Sci 2020; 16(14):2712-2726. doi:10.7150/ijbs.48169. Available from

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It has been reported that 1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D [1,25(OH)2D] deficiency leads to the loss of mandibular bone, however the mechanism is unclear. We investigated whether the Sirt1/FOXO3a signaling pathway is involved in this process. Using a 1,25(OH)2D deficiency model induced by genetic deletion in mice of 25-hydroxyvitamin D-1α hydroxylase [1α(OH)ase-/- mice]. We first documented a sharp reduction of expression levels of Sirt1 in the 1α(OH)ase-/- mice in vivo. Next, we demonstrated dose-dependent upregulation of Sirt1 by treatment with exogenous 1,25(OH)2D3 in vitro. We then identified a functional VDR binding site in the Sirt1 promoter. By crossing Prx1-Sirt1 transgenic mice with 1α(OH)ase-/- mice we demonstrated that the overexpression of Sirt1 in mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) greatly improved the 1α(OH)ase-/- mandibular bone loss phenotype by increasing osteoblastic bone formation and reducing osteoclastic bone resorption. In mechanistic studies, we showed, in 1α(OH)ase-/- mice, decreases of Sirt1 and FoxO3a, an increase in oxidative stress as reflected by a reduction of the antioxidant enzymes peroxiredoxin1 (Prdx1), SOD1 and SOD2 expression, and an increase of markers for osteocyte senescence and senescence associated secretory phenotypes (SASP), including β-galactosidase (β-gal), p16, p53 and p21. The targeted overexpression of Sirt1 in the 1α(OH)ase-/- mice restored the expression levels of these molecules. Finally, we demonstrated that a Sirt1 agonist can upregulate FOXO3a activity by increasing deacetylation and nuclear translocation. Overall, results from this study support the concept that targeted increases in Sirt1/FOXO3a signaling levels can greatly improve the bone loss caused by 1,25(OH)2D deficiency.

Keywords: mandibular bone, Sirt1 promoter, mesenchymal stem cells, antioxidant enzymes peroxiredoxin1