The role of Zfp467 in mediating the pro-osteogenic and anti-adipogenic effects on bone and bone marrow niche
Conditional deletion of the PTH receptor (Pth1r) in mesenchymal progenitors reduces osteoblast differentiation and bone mass while enhancing adipogenesis and bone marrow adipose tissue. Mechanistically, PTH suppresses the expression of Zfp467, a pro-adipogenic zinc finger transcription factor. Consequently, Pth1r deficiency in mesenchymal progenitors leads to increased Zfp467 expression. Based on these observations, we hypothesized that genetic loss of Zfp467 would lead to a shift in marrow progenitor cell fate towards osteogenesis and increased bone mass. To test this hypothesis, we generated Zfp467-/- mice. Zfp467-/- mice (-/-) were significantly smaller than Zfp467+/+ mice (+/+). μCT showed significantly higher trabecular bone and cortical bone area in -/- vs. +/+, and histomorphometry showed higher structural and dynamic formation parameters in -/- mice vs. +/+. Femoral gene expression including Alpl, Sp7, and Acp5 were increased in -/-mice, whereas Adiponectin, Cebpa, Lepr, and Ppraγ mRNA were lower in -/- mice. Similarly, Fabp4 and Lep in the inguinal depot were also decreased in -/- mice. Moreover, marrow adipocyte numbers were reduced in -/- vs +/+ mice (p<0.007). In vitro, COBs and BMSCs-/- showed more positive ALP and Alizarin Red staining and a decrease in ORO droplets. Pth1r mRNA and protein levels were increased in COBs and BMSCs from -/- mice vs +/+ (p<0.02 for each parameter, -/- vs. +/+). -/- cells also exhibited enhanced endogenous levels of cAMP vs. control cells. Moreover, in an ovariectomy (OVX) mouse model, Zfp467-/- mice had significantly lower fat mass but similar bone mass compared to OVX +/+ mice. In contrast, in a high fat diet (HFD) mouse model, in addition to reduced adipocyte volume and adipogenesis related gene expression in both peripheral and bone marrow fat tissue, greater osteoblast number and higher osteogenesis related gene expression were also observed in -/- HFD mice vs. +/+ HFD mice. Taken together, these results demonstrate that ZFP467 negatively influences skeletal homeostasis and favors adipogenesis. Global deletion of Zfp467 increases PTHR1, cAMP and bone turnover, hence its repression is a component of PTH signaling and its regulation. These data support a critical role for Zfp467 in early lineage allocation and provide a novel potential mechanism by which PTH acts in an anabolic manner on the bone remodeling unit.