Evaluation of Amino Acid Consumption in Cultured Bone Cells and Isolated Bone Shafts

Leyao Shen, Courtney M. Karner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Bone development and homeostasis is dependent upon the differentiation and activity of bone forming osteoblasts. Osteoblast differentiation is sequentially characterized by proliferation followed by protein synthesis and ultimately bone matrix secretion. Proliferation and protein synthesis require a constant supply of amino acids. Despite this, very little is known about amino acid consumption in osteoblasts. Here we describe a very sensitive protocol that is designed to measure amino acid consumption using radiolabeled amino acids. This method is optimized to quantify changes in amino acid uptake that are associated with osteoblast proliferation or differentiation, drug or growth factor treatments, or various genetic manipulations. Importantly, this method can be used interchangeably to quantify amino acid consumption in cultured cell lines or primary cells in vitro or in isolated bone shafts ex vivo. Finally, our method can be easily adapted to measure the transport of any of the amino acids as well as glucose and other radiolabeled nutrients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of visualized experiments : JoVE
Issue number182
StatePublished - Apr 13 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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