Glutamine Metabolism Is Essential for Stemness of Bone Marrow Mesenchymal Stem Cells and Bone Homeostasis
Skeleton has emerged as an endocrine organ which is both capable of regulating energy metabolism and being a target for it. Glutamine is the most bountiful and flexible amino acid in the body which provides adenosine 5'-triphosphate (ATP) demands for cells. Emerging evidences support that glutamine which acts as the second metabolic regulator after glucose exerts crucial roles in bone homeostasis at cellular level, including the lineage allocation and proliferation of bone mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs), the matrix mineralization of osteoblasts, and the biosynthesis in chondrocytes. The integrated mechanism consisting of WNT, mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), and reactive oxygen species (ROS) signaling pathway in a glutamine-dependent pattern is responsible to regulate the complex intrinsic biological process, despite more extensive molecules are deserved to be elucidated in glutamine metabolism further. Indeed, dysfunctional glutamine metabolism enhances the development of degenerative bone diseases, such as osteoporosis and osteoarthritis, and glutamine or glutamine progenitor supplementation can partially restore bone defects which may promote treatment of bone diseases, although the mechanisms are not quite clear. In this review, we will summarize and update the latest research findings and clinical trials on the crucial regulatory roles of glutamine metabolism in BMSCs and BMSC-derived bone cells, also followed with the osteoclasts which are important in bone resorption.