Short-chain fatty acids and FFAR2 as suppressors of bone resorption

C. C. Montalvany-Antonucci, L. F. Duffles, J. A.A. de Arruda, M. C. Zicker, S. de Oliveira, S. Macari, G. P. Garlet, M. F.M. Madeira, S. Y. Fukada, I. Andrade, M. M. Teixeira, C. Mackay, A. T. Vieira, M. A. Vinolo, T. A. Silva

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43 Citations (Scopus)


Short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs)exert a variety of immune and metabolic functions by binding to G-protein-coupled receptors, mainly free fatty acid receptor 2 (FFAR2). However, the effects of SCFAs and FFARs on bone remodeling, especially in alveolar bone, have been less explored. In this study, we investigated the influence of the SCFA/FFAR2 axis on alveolar bone. Bone samples from wild-type (WT)and FFAR2-deficient mice (FFAR2−/−)were analyzed using micro-CT, histology and qPCR. WT and FFAR2−/− animals received a high-fiber diet (HFD)reported to increase circulating levels of SCFAs. Additionally, we analyzed the effects of SCFAs and a synthetic FFAR2 agonist, phenylacetamide-1 (CTMB), on bone cell differentiation. The participation of histone deacetylase inhibitors (iHDACs)in the effects of SCFAs was further assessed in vitro. CTMB treatment was also evaluated in vivo during orthodontic tooth movement (OTM). FFAR2−/− mice exhibited deterioration of maxillary bone parameters. Consistent with this, FFAR2−/− mice exhibited a significant increase of OTM and changes in bone cell numbers and in the expression of remodeling markers. The HFD partially reversed bone loss in the maxillae of FFAR2−/− mice. In WT mice, the HFD induced changes in the bone markers apparently favoring a bone formation scenario. In vitro, bone marrow cells from FFAR2−/− mice exhibited increased differentiation into osteoclasts, while no changes in osteoblasts were observed. In line with this, differentiation of osteoclasts was diminished by SCFAs and CTMB. Moreover, CTMB treatment significantly reduced OTM. Pretreatment of osteoclasts with iHDACs did not modify the effects of SCFAs on these cells. In conclusion, SCFAs function as regulators of bone resorption. The effects of SCFAs on osteoclasts are dependent on FFAR2 activation and are independent of the inhibition of HDACs. FFAR2 agonists may be useful to control bone osteolysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112-121
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2019


  • Bone remodeling
  • FFAR2 protein
  • Short-chain fatty acids

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