The effect of dietary fatty acids on osteocyte-mediated mechanotransduction : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Health Science at Massey University, Manawatū, Palmerston North, New Zealand
The bones in our skeleton are subjected to mechanical loading every day and are continuously remodelled in a process called “bone remodelling”. The capacity of the skeleton to adapt its mass and structure in response to mechanical loading has been intensively studied. Over the last few decades, much focus has been given to bone cells such as osteoblasts and osteoclasts but less so to osteocytes, even though these comprise almost 90% of the cellular space in bone. The detailed way these cells function in bone mechanotransduction and therefore control bone remodelling is not well understood. Diet and especially dietary fatty acids (DFA) are an important aspect of the regulation of bone health. Strong evidence has been presented in the scientific literature to support the benefits of DFA in bone health, but the exact mechanism of how they benefit bone health is still unclear. It has been shown that bone cells secrete various osteogenic molecules in response to fluid shear stress. The goal of this project was to explore osteocyte cellular mechanisms involved in their response to mechanical loading and dietary fatty acids. This project specifically focused on the osteocytic secretion of ATP in response to dietary fatty acids and fluid shear stress in vitro. This study showed for the first time that the increased ATP secretion induced by fluid shear stress due to DFA treatment possibly explore a new understanding of how DFA might benefit bone health and could be used in future experiments to help us understand their possible effects. This study might be set as a model experimental design to study the cell response to DFA treatment exposed to fluid shear stress.