Joint ankylosis is a major cause of disability in the human spondyloarthropathies. Here we report that this process partially recapitulates embryonic endochondral bone formation in a spontaneous model of arthritis in DBA/1 mice. Bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling appears to be a key molecular pathway involved in this pathological cascade. Systemic gene transfer of noggin, a BMP antagonist, is effective both as a preventive and a therapeutic strategy in the mouse model, mechanistically interfering with enthesial progenitor cell proliferation in early stages of the disease process. Immunohistochemical staining for phosphorylated smad1/5 in enthesial biopsies of patients with spondyloarthropathy reveals active BMP signaling in similar target cells. Our data suggest that BMP signaling is an attractive therapeutic target for interfering with structural changes in spondyloarthropathy either as an alternative or complementary approach to current antiinflammatory treatments.
Rik J.U. Lories, Inge Derese, Frank P. Luyten
Infantile cortical hyperostosis (Caffey disease) is characterized by spontaneous episodes of subperiosteal new bone formation along 1 or more bones commencing within the first 5 months of life. A genome-wide screen for genetic linkage in a large family with an autosomal dominant form of Caffey disease (ADC) revealed a locus on chromosome 17q21 (LOD score, 6.78). Affected individuals and obligate carriers were heterozygous for a missense mutation (3040C↠T) in exon 41 of the gene encoding the α1(I) chain of type I collagen (COL1A1), altering residue 836 (R836C) in the triple-helical domain of this chain. The same mutation was identified in affected members of 2 unrelated, smaller families with ADC, but not in 2 prenatal cases and not in more than 300 chromosomes from healthy individuals. Fibroblast cultures from an affected individual produced abnormal disulfide-bonded dimeric α1(I) chains. Dermal collagen fibrils of the same individual were larger, more variable in shape and size, and less densely packed than those in control samples. Individuals bearing the mutation, whether they had experienced an episode of cortical hyperostosis or not, had joint hyperlaxity, hyperextensible skin, and inguinal hernias resembling symptoms of a mild form of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome type III. These findings extend the spectrum of COL1A1-related diseases to include a hyperostotic disorder.
Robert C. Gensure, Outi Mäkitie, Catherine Barclay, Catherine Chan, Steven R. DePalma, Murat Bastepe, Hilal Abuzahra, Richard Couper, Stefan Mundlos, David Sillence, Leena Ala Kokko, Jonathan G. Seidman, William G. Cole, Harald Jüppner
Short digits (Dsh) is a radiation-induced mouse mutant. Homozygous mice are characterized by multiple defects strongly resembling those resulting from Sonic hedgehog (Shh) inactivation. Heterozygous mice show a limb reduction phenotype with fusion and shortening of the proximal and middle phalanges in all digits, similar to human brachydactyly type A1, a condition caused by mutations in Indian hedgehog (IHH). We mapped Dsh to chromosome 5 in a region containing Shh and were able to demonstrate an inversion comprising 11.7 Mb. The distal breakpoint is 13.298 kb upstream of Shh, separating the coding sequence from several putative regulatory elements identified by interspecies comparison. The inversion results in almost complete downregulation of Shh expression during E9.5–E12.5, explaining the homozygous phenotype. At E13.5 and E14.5, however, Shh is upregulated in the phalangeal anlagen of Dsh/+ mice, at a time point and in a region where WT Shh is never expressed. The dysregulation of Shh expression causes the local upregulation of hedgehog target genes such as Gli1-3, patched, and Pthlh, as well as the downregulation of Ihh and Gdf5. This results in shortening of the digits through an arrest of chondrocyte differentiation and the disruption of joint development.
Michael Niedermaier, Georg C. Schwabe, Stephan Fees, Anne Helmrich, Norbert Brieske, Petra Seemann, Jochen Hecht, Volkhard Seitz, Sigmar Stricker, Gundula Leschik, Evelin Schrock, Paul B. Selby, Stefan Mundlos
Inactivation of the growth factor–regulated S6 kinase RSK2 causes Coffin-Lowry syndrome in humans, an X-linked mental retardation condition associated with progressive skeletal abnormalities. Here we show that mice lacking RSK2 develop a progressive skeletal disease, osteopenia due to impaired osteoblast function and normal osteoclast differentiation. The phenotype is associated with decreased expression of Phex, an endopeptidase regulating bone mineralization. This defect is probably not mediated by RSK2-dependent phosphorylation of c-Fos on serine 362 in the C-terminus. However, in the absence of RSK2, c-Fos–dependent osteosarcoma formation is impaired. The lack of c-Fos phosphorylation leads to reduced c-Fos protein levels, which are thought to be responsible for decreased proliferation and increased apoptosis of transformed osteoblasts. Therefore, RSK2-dependent stabilization of c-Fos is essential for osteosarcoma formation in mice and may also be important for human osteosarcomas.
Jean-Pierre David, Denis Mehic, Latifa Bakiri, Arndt F. Schilling, Vice Mandic, Matthias Priemel, Maria Helena Idarraga, Markus O. Reschke, Oskar Hoffmann, Michael Amling, Erwin F. Wagner
TNF-induced receptor activator NF-κB ligand (RANKL) synthesis by bone marrow stromal cells is a fundamental component of inflammatory osteolysis. We found that this process was abolished by IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra) or in stromal cells derived from type I IL-1 receptor–deficient (IL-1RI–deficient) mice. Reflecting sequential signaling of the cytokines TNF and IL-1, TNF induces stromal cell expression of IL-1 and IL-1RI. These data suggest that TNF regulates RANKL expression via IL-1, and, therefore, IL-1 plays a role in TNF-induced periarticular osteolysis. Consistent with this posture, TNF-stimulated osteoclastogenesis in cultures consisting of WT marrow macrophages and stromal cells exposed to IL-1Ra or in cocultures established with IL-1RI–deficient stromal cells was reduced approximately 50%. The same magnitude of osteoclast inhibition occurred in IL-1RI–deficient mice following TNF administration in vivo. Like TNF, IL-1 directly targeted osteoclast precursors and promoted the osteoclast phenotype in a TNF-independent manner in the presence of permissive levels of RANKL. IL-1 is able to induce RANKL expression by stromal cells and directly stimulate osteoclast precursor differentiation under the aegis of p38 MAPK. Thus, IL-1 mediates the osteoclastogenic effect of TNF by enhancing stromal cell expression of RANKL and directly stimulating differentiation of osteoclast precursors.
Shi Wei, Hideki Kitaura, Ping Zhou, F. Patrick Ross, Steven L. Teitelbaum
Caspase-3 is a critical enzyme for apoptosis and cell survival. Here we report delayed ossification and decreased bone mineral density in caspase-3–deficient (Casp3–/– and Casp3+/–) mice due to an attenuated osteogenic differentiation of bone marrow stromal stem cells (BMSSCs). The mechanism involved in the impaired differentiation of BMSSCs is due, at least partially, to the overactivated TGF-β/Smad2 signaling pathway and the upregulated expressions of p53 and p21 along with the downregulated expressions of Cdk2 and Cdc2, and ultimately increased replicative senescence. In addition, the overactivated TGF-β/Smad2 signaling may result in the compromised Runx2/Cbfa1 expression in preosteoblasts. Furthermore, we demonstrate that caspase-3 inhibitor, a potential agent for clinical treatment of human diseases, caused accelerated bone loss in ovariectomized mice, which is also associated with the overactivated TGF-β/Smad2 signaling in BMSSCs. This study demonstrates that caspase-3 is crucial for the differentiation of BMSSCs by influencing TGF-β/Smad2 pathway and cell cycle progression.
Masako Miura, Xiao-Dong Chen, Matthew R. Allen, Yanming Bi, Stan Gronthos, Byoung-Moo Seo, Saquib Lakhani, Richard A. Flavell, Xin-Hua Feng, Pamela Gehron Robey, Marian Young, Songtao Shi
Receptor activator of NF-κB ligand (RANKL) plays an essential role in osteoclast formation and bone resorption. Although genetic and biochemical studies indicate that RANKL regulates osteoclast differentiation by activating receptor activator of NF-κB and associated signaling molecules, the molecular mechanisms of RANKL-regulated osteoclast differentiation have not yet been fully established. We investigated the role of the transcription factor c-Jun, which is activated by RANKL, in osteoclastogenesis using transgenic mice expressing dominant-negative c-Jun specifically in the osteoclast lineage. We found that the transgenic mice manifested severe osteopetrosis due to impaired osteoclastogenesis. Blockade of c-Jun signaling also markedly inhibited soluble RANKL-induced osteoclast differentiation in vitro. Overexpression of nuclear factor of activated T cells 1 (NFAT1) (NFATc2/NFATp) or NFAT2 (NFATc1/NFATc) promoted differentiation of osteoclast precursor cells into tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase–positive (TRAP–positive) multinucleated osteoclast-like cells even in the absence of RANKL. Overexpression of NFAT1 also markedly transactivated the TRAP gene promoter. These osteoclastogenic activities of NFAT were abrogated by overexpression of dominant-negative c-Jun. Importantly, osteoclast differentiation and induction of NFAT2 expression by NFAT1 overexpression or soluble RANKL treatment were profoundly diminished in spleen cells of the transgenic mice. Collectively, these results indicate that c-Jun signaling in cooperation with NFAT is crucial for RANKL-regulated osteoclast differentiation.
Fumiyo Ikeda, Riko Nishimura, Takuma Matsubara, Sakae Tanaka, Jun-ichiro Inoue, Sakamuri V. Reddy, Kenji Hata, Kenji Yamashita, Toru Hiraga, Toshiyuki Watanabe, Toshio Kukita, Katsuji Yoshioka, Anjana Rao, Toshiyuki Yoneda
While platelet-activating factor (PAF) is produced in various diseases associated with bone resorption, its functions in bone metabolism remain unknown. Using PAF receptor–deficient mice, we evaluated the role of PAF in the development of bone resorption following ovariectomy, a model of postmenopausal osteoporosis. Through observations of bone mineral density and histomorphometric parameters, it was found that bone resorption was markedly attenuated in PAF receptor–deficient mice, indicating that PAF links estrogen depletion and osteoporosis in vivo. Osteoclasts expressed higher amounts of the enzymes required for PAF biosynthesis than osteoblasts. TNF-α and IL-1β increased the acetyl-coenzyme A:lyso-PAF acetyltransferase activity in osteoclasts. Osteoclasts, but not osteoblasts, expressed the functional PAF receptor. PAF receptor stimulation prolonged the survival of osteoclasts in vitro. Furthermore, osteoclasts treated with a PAF receptor antagonist, and also those from PAF receptor–deficient mice, showed reductions in survival rate and Ca resorption activity. Consistently, in organ cultures, bone resorption was significantly suppressed by a PAF receptor antagonist treatment or genetic PAF receptor deficiency. Thus, these results suggest that, through the inflammatory cytokines, estrogen depletion enhances PAF production as a unique autocrine factor for osteoclast functions. Inhibition of PAF function might pave the way for a new strategy to prevent postmenopausal bone loss without disturbing osteoblast functions.
Hisako Hikiji, Satoshi Ishii, Hideo Shindou, Tsuyoshi Takato, Takao Shimizu
Parathyroid hormone–related peptide (PTHrP) is a positive regulator of chondrocyte proliferation during bone development. In embryonic mice lacking PTHrP, chondrocytes stop proliferating prematurely, with accelerated differentiation. Because the bone phenotype of mice lacking the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p57Kip2 is the opposite of the PTHrP-null phenotype, we hypothesized that PTHrP’s proliferative actions in chondrocytes might be mediated by opposing p57. We generated p57/PTHrP-null embryos, which showed partial rescue of the PTHrP-null phenotype. There was reversal of the loss of proliferative chondrocytes in most bones, with reversal of the accelerated differentiation that occurs in the PTHrP-null phenotype. p57 mRNA and protein were upregulated in proliferative chondrocytes in the absence of PTHrP. Metatarsal culture studies confirmed the action of PTHrP to decrease p57 mRNA and protein levels in a model in which parathyroid hormone (PTH), used as an analog of PTHrP, increased chondrocyte proliferation rate and the length of the proliferative domain. PTH treatment of p57-null metatarsals had no effect on proliferation rate in round proliferative chondrocytes but still stimulated proliferation in columnar chondrocytes. These studies suggest that the effects of PTHrP on both the rate and extent of chondrocyte proliferation are mediated, at least in part, through suppression of p57 expression.
Helen E. MacLean, Jun Guo, Melissa C. Knight, Pumin Zhang, David Cobrinik, Henry M. Kronenberg
Based on the fact that aging is associated with a reciprocal decrease of osteogenesis and an increase of adipogenesis in bone marrow and that osteoblasts and adipocytes share a common progenitor, this study investigated the role of PPARγ, a key regulator of adipocyte differentiation, in bone metabolism. Homozygous PPARγ-deficient ES cells failed to differentiate into adipocytes, but spontaneously differentiated into osteoblasts, and these were restored by reintroduction of the PPARγ gene. Heterozygous PPARγ-deficient mice exhibited high bone mass with increased osteoblastogenesis, but normal osteoblast and osteoclast functions, and this effect was not mediated by insulin or leptin. The osteogenic effect of PPARγ haploinsufficiency became prominent with aging but was not changed upon ovariectomy. The PPARγ haploinsufficiency was confirmed to enhance osteoblastogenesis in the bone marrow cell culture but did not affect the cultures of differentiated osteoblasts or osteoclast-lineage cells. This study demonstrates a PPARγ-dependent regulation of bone metabolism in vivo, in that PPARγ insufficiency increases bone mass by stimulating osteoblastogenesis from bone marrow progenitors.
Toru Akune, Shinsuke Ohba, Satoru Kamekura, Masayuki Yamaguchi, Ung-il Chung, Naoto Kubota, Yasuo Terauchi, Yoshifumi Harada, Yoshiaki Azuma, Kozo Nakamura, Takashi Kadowaki, Hiroshi Kawaguchi