Cytoprotection by pyruvate through an anti-oxidative mechanism in cultured rat calvarial osteoblasts

N. Moriguchi, E. Hinoi, Y. Tsuchihashi, S. Fujimori, M. Iemata, T. Takarada, Yukio Yoneda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Although we have previously shown drastic cell death by pyruvate deficiency in osteoblasts at the proliferative stage, the exact mechanism remains unclear so far. Cell survivability was significantly decreased in rat calvarial osteoblasts cultured for 0 to 3 days in vitro (DIV) following replacement of the eutrophic α-modified minimum essential medium (α-MEM) with Dulbecco's modified eagle medium (DMEM) for cultivation. The addition of pyruvate enriched in α-MEM, but not in MEM, entirely prevented cell death induced by the medium replacement throughout a culture period from 0 to 3 DIV. Both cysteine and reduced glutathione protected cell death in cells cultured for 3 DIV without significantly affecting that in cells cultured for 1 DIV, however, while none of lactate, acetate and insulin significantly prevented the cell death irrespective of the culture period up to 3 DIV. A marked increase was detected in intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels 4 h after the medium replacement. In osteoblasts cultured in α-MEM for 3 DIV, but not in those for 7 DIV, hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) markedly decreased cell survivability when expose for 2 to 24 h. Furthermore, H2O2 was effective in significantly decreasing cell survivability in osteoblasts cultured in DMEM for 7 DIV. Pyruvate at 1 mM not only prevented cell death by H2O2, but also suppressed the generation of intracellular ROS in osteoblasts exposed to H2O2. These results suggest that pyruvate could be cytoprotective through a mechanism associated with the anti-oxidative property rather than an energy fuel in cultured rat calvarial osteoblasts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)969-977
Number of pages9
JournalHistology and Histopathology
Issue number7-9
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Osteoblasts
  • Pyruvate
  • Reactive oxygen species
  • Viability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology


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