Spontaneous mutation of Dock7 results in lower trabecular bone mass and impaired periosteal expansion in aged female Misty mice.

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Adipocytes, Adipogenesis, Adipose Tissue, Adiposity, Aging, Animals, Biomarkers, Bone Density, Bone Resorption, Cancellous Bone, Cell Count, Cell Movement, Female, Gene Expression Regulation, Guanine Nucleotide Exchange Factors, Mesenchymal Stem Cells, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Mice, Transgenic, Mutation, Organ Size, Osteoblasts, Periosteum, Phenotype, Sympathetic Nervous System


Misty mice (m/m) have a loss of function mutation in Dock7 gene, a guanine nucleotide exchange factor, resulting in low bone mineral density, uncoupled bone remodeling and reduced bone formation. Dock7 has been identified as a modulator of osteoblast number and in vitro osteogenic differentiation in calvarial osteoblast culture. In addition, m/m exhibit reduced preformed brown adipose tissue innervation and temperature as well as compensatory increase in beige adipocyte markers. While the low bone mineral density phenotype is in part due to higher sympathetic nervous system (SNS) drive in young mice, it is unclear what effect aging would have in mice homozygous for the mutation in the Dock7 gene. We hypothesized that age-related trabecular bone loss and periosteal envelope expansion would be altered in m/m. To test this hypothesis, we comprehensively characterized the skeletal phenotype of m/m at 16, 32, 52, and 78wks of age. When compared to age-matched wild-type control mice (+/+), m/m had lower areal bone mineral density (aBMD) and areal bone mineral content (aBMC). Similarly, both femoral and vertebral BV/TV, Tb.N, and Conn.D were decreased in m/m while there was also an increase in Tb.Sp. As low bone mineral density and decreased trabecular bone were already present at 16wks of age in m/m and persisted throughout life, changes in age-related trabecular bone loss were not observed highlighting the role of Dock7 in controlling trabecular bone acquisition or bone loss prior to 16wks of age. Cortical thickness was also lower in the m/m across all ages. Periosteal and endosteal circumferences were higher in m/m compared to +/+ at 16wks. However, endosteal and periosteal expansion were attenuated in m/m, resulting in m/m having lower periosteal and endosteal circumferences by 78wks of age compared to +/+, highlighting the critical role of Dock7 in appositional bone expansion. Histomorphometry revealed that osteoblasts were nearly undetectable in m/m and marrow adipocytes were elevated 3.5 fold over +/+ (p=0.014). Consistent with reduced bone formation, osteoblast gene expression of Alp, Col1a1, Runx-2, Sp7, and Bglap was significantly decreased in m/m whole bone. Furthermore, markers of osteoclasts were either unchanged or suppressed. Bone marrow stromal cell migration and motility were inhibited in culture and changes in senescence markers suggest that osteoblast function may also be inhibited with loss of Dock7 expression in m/m. Finally, increased Oil Red O staining in m/m ear mesenchymal stem cells during adipogenesis highlights a potential shift of cells from the osteogenic to adipogenic lineages. In summary, loss of Dock7 in the aging m/m resulted in an impairment of periosteal and endocortical envelope expansion, but did not alter age-related trabecular bone loss. These studies establish Dock7 as a critical regulator of both cortical and trabecular bone mass, and demonstrate for the first time a novel role of Dock7 in modulating compensatory changes in the periosteum with aging.



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