University of Oulu

Ohlsson, C., Henning, P., Nilsson, K., Wu, J., Gustafsson, K., Sjögren, K., Törnqvist, A., Koskela, A., Zhang, F., Lagerquist, M., Poutanen, M., Tuukkanen, J., Lerner, U., Movérare-Skrtic, S. (2018) Inducible Wnt16 inactivation: WNT16 regulates cortical bone thickness in adult mice. Journal of Endocrinology, 237 (2), 113-122. doi:10.1530/JOE-18-0020

Inducible Wnt16 inactivation : WNT16 regulates cortical bone thickness in adult mice

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Author: Ohlsson, Claes1; Henning, Petra1; Nilsson, Karin H1;
Organizations: 1Centre for Bone and Arthritis Research, Department of Internal Medicine and Clinical Nutrition, Institute of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, Gothenburg, Sweden
2Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Institute of Cancer Research and Translational Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
3Research Centre for Integrative Physiology and Pharmacology, Turku Center for Disease Modeling, Institute of Biomedicine, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.3 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Bioscientifica, 2018
Publish Date: 2018-06-06


Substantial progress has been made in the therapeutic reduction of vertebral fracture risk in patients with osteoporosis, but non-vertebral fracture risk has been improved only marginally. Human genetic studies demonstrate that the WNT16 locus is a major determinant of cortical bone thickness and non-vertebral fracture risk and mouse models with life-long Wnt16 inactivation revealed that WNT16 is a key regulator of cortical thickness. These studies, however, could not exclude that the effect of Wnt16 inactivation on cortical thickness might be caused by early developmental and/or growth effects. To determine the effect of WNT16 specifically on adult cortical bone homeostasis, Wnt16 was conditionally ablated in young adult and old mice through tamoxifen-inducible Cre-mediated recombination using CAG-Cre-ER; Wnt16flox/flox (Cre-Wnt16flox/flox) mice. First, 10-week-old Cre-Wnt16flox/flox and Wnt16flox/flox littermate control mice were treated with tamoxifen. Four weeks later, Wnt16 mRNA levels in cortical bone were reduced and cortical thickness in femur was decreased in Cre-Wnt16flox/flox mice compared to Wnt16flox/flox mice. Then, inactivation of Wnt16 in 47-week-old mice (evaluated four weeks later) resulted in a reduction of Wnt16 mRNA levels, cortical thickness and cortical bone strength with no effect on trabecular bone volume fraction. Mechanistic studies demonstrated that the reduced cortical bone thickness was caused by a combination of increased bone resorption and reduced periosteal bone formation. In conclusion, WNT16 is a crucial regulator of cortical bone thickness in young adult and old mice. We propose that new treatment strategies targeting the adult regulation of WNT16 might be useful to reduce fracture risk at cortical bone sites.

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Series: Journal of endocrinology
ISSN: 0022-0795
ISSN-E: 1479-6805
ISSN-L: 0022-0795
Volume: 237
Issue: 2
Pages: 113 - 122
DOI: 10.1530/JOE-18-0020
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3111 Biomedicine
Copyright information: © 2018 The authors. Published by Bioscientifica Ltd. Printed in Great Britain. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License.