Chen, B., Yan, Y.L., Liu, C., Bo, L., Li, G.F., Wang, H., and Xu, Y.J. (2014) Therapeutic effect of deferoxamine on iron overload-induced inhibition of osteogenesis in a zebrafish model. Calcified tissue international. 94(3):353-360.
Osteoporosis results from an imbalance in bone remodeling, in which osteoclastic bone resorption exceeds osteoblastic bone formation. Iron has recently been recognized as an independent risk factor for osteoporosis. Reportedly, excess iron could promote osteoclast differentiation and bone resorption through the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). We evaluated the effect of iron on osteoblast differentiation and bone formation in zebrafish and further investigated the potential benefits of deferoxamine (DFO), a powerful iron chelator, in iron-overloaded zebrafish. The zebrafish model of iron overload described in this study demonstrated an apparent inhibition of bone formation, accompanied by decreased expression of osteoblast-specific genes (runx2a, runx2b, osteocalcin, osteopontin, ALP, and collagen type I). The negative effect of iron on osteoblastic activity and bone formation could be attributed to increased ROS generation and oxidative stress. Most importantly, we revealed that DFO was capable of removing whole-body iron and attenuating oxidative stress in iron-overloaded larval zebrafish, which facilitated larval recovery from the reductions in bone formation and osteogenesis induced by iron overload.