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Dkk1 KO Mice Treated with Sclerostin Antibody Have Additional Increases in Bone Volume


Dickkopf-1 (DKK1) and sclerostin are antagonists of the Wnt/beta-catenin pathway and decreased expression of either results in increased bone formation and mass. As both affect the same signaling pathway, we aimed to elucidate the redundancy and/or compensation of sclerostin and DKK1. Weekly sclerostin antibody (Scl-Ab) was used to treat 9-week-old female Dkk1 KO (Dkk1(-/-):Wnt3(+/-)) mice and compared to Scl-Ab-treated wild-type mice as well as vehicle-treated Dkk1 KO and wild-type animals. While Wnt3 heterozygote (Wnt3(+/-)) mice show no bone phenotype, Scl-Ab and vehicle-treated control groups of this genotype were included. Specimens were harvested after 3 weeks for microCT, bone histomorphometry, anti-sclerostin immunohistochemistry, and biomechanical testing. Scl-Ab enhanced bone anabolism in all treatment groups, but with synergistic enhancement seen in the cancellous compartment of Dkk1 KO mice (bone volume + 55% Dkk1 KO p < 0.01; + 22% wild type p < 0.05). Scl-Ab treatment produced less marked increases in cortical bone of the tibiae, with anabolic effects similar across genotypes. Mechanical testing confirmed that Scl-Ab improved strength across all genotypes; however, no enhancement was seen within Dkk1 KO mice. Dynamic bone labeling showed that Scl-Ab treatment was associated with increased bone formation, regardless of genotype. Immunohistochemical staining for sclerostin protein indicated no differences in the Dkk1 KO mice, indicating that the increased Wnt signaling associated with DKK1 deficiency was not compensated by upregulation of sclerostin protein. These data suggest complex interactions between Wnt signaling factors in bone, but critically illustrate synergy between DKK1 deficiency and Scl-Ab treatment. These data support the application of dual-targeted therapeutics in the modulation of bone anabolism.

Type Journal
ISBN 1432-0827 (Electronic) 0171-967X (Linking)
Authors Morse, A.; Cheng, T. L.; Schindeler, A.; McDonald, M. M.; Mohanty, S. T.; Kneissel, M.; Kramer, I.; Little, D. G.
Responsible Garvan Author Dr Michelle McDonald
Published Date 2018-05-29
Published Volume 103
Published Issue 3
Published Pages 298-310
Status Published in-print
DOI 10.1007/s00223-018-0420-6
URL link to publisher's version