High-bone-mass (HBM)-causing missense mutations in the low density lipoprotein receptor-related protein-5 (Lrp5) are associated with increased osteoanabolic action and protection from disuse- and ovariectomy-induced osteopenia. These mutations (e.g., A214V and G171V) confer resistance to endogenous secreted Lrp5/6 inhibitors, such as sclerostin (SOST) and Dickkopf homolog-1 (DKK1). Cells in the osteoblast lineage are responsive to canonical Wnt stimulation, but recent work has indicated that osteoclasts exhibit both indirect and direct responsiveness to canonical Wnt. Whether Lrp5-HBM receptors, expressed in osteoclasts, might alter osteoclast differentiation, activity, and consequent net bone balance in the skeleton, is not known. To address this, we bred mice harboring heterozygous Lrp5 HBM-causing conditional knock-in alleles to Ctsk-Cre transgenic mice and studied the phenotype using DXA, μCT, histomorphometry, serum assays, and primary cell culture. Mice with HBM alleles induced in Ctsk-expressing cells (TG) exhibited higher bone mass and architectural properties compared to non-transgenic (NTG) counterparts. In vivo and in vitro measurements of osteoclast activity, population density, and differentiation yielded significant reductions in osteoclast-related parameters in female but not male TG mice. Droplet digital PCR performed on osteocyte enriched cortical bone tubes from TG and NTG mice revealed that ~8–17% of the osteocyte population (depending on sex) underwent recombination of the conditional Lrp5 allele in the presence of Ctsk-Cre. Further, bone formation parameters in the midshaft femur cortex show a small but significant increase in anabolic action on the endocortical but not periosteal surface. These findings suggest that Wnt/Lrp5 signaling in osteoclasts affects osteoclastogenesis and activity in female mice, but also that some of the changes in bone mass in TG mice might be due to Cre expression in the osteocyte population.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism