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Increased anabolic bone response in Dkk1 KO mice following tibial compressive loading


A viable Dkk1 knockout (KO) mouse strain in which embryonic lethality is rescued by developmental Wnt3 heterozygosity (Dkk1(-/-):Wnt3(+/-)) exhibits increased bone formation and a high bone mass phenotype. We hypothesized that in vivo mechanical loading would further augment the bone formation response in Dkk1 KO mice, comparable to results from Sost KO mice. A cyclic loading protocol was applied to Dkk1 KO mice, wild type mice (WT; Dkk1(+/+):Wnt3(+/+)), and Wnt3 heterozygote (Wnt3(+/-); Dkk1(+/+):Wnt3(+/-)) controls. The left tibiae of 10-week-old female mice were dynamically loaded in vivo with 7N maximum compressive force 5days/week for 2weeks. Dkk1 KO bones were significantly stiffer, and so an additional group of Dkk1 KO received 12N maximum compressive force to achieve an equivalent +1200muepsilon strain at the mid-diaphysis. MicroCT and bone histomorphometry analyses were subsequently performed. All groups responded to tibial loading with increased mid-diaphyseal bone volume. The largest effect size was in the Dkk1 KO -12N group. Thus, Dkk1 KO animals had enhanced sensitivity to mechanical loading. Increases in cortical bone volume reflected increased periosteal bone formation. Bone volume and formation were not altered between WT and Wnt3(+/)(-) controls. These data support the concept that agonists of Wnt/beta-catenin signaling can act synergistically with load-bearing exercise. Notably, Sost expression decreased with loading in Dkk1 KO and WT mice, independent of genotype. These data suggest that a compensatory downregulation of Sost in Dkk1 KO mice is not likely the primary mechanism for the augmented response to mechanical load.

Type Journal
ISBN 1873-2763 (Electronic) 1873-2763 (Linking)
Authors Morse, A.; Ko, F.; McDonald, M. M.; Lee, L.; Schindeler, A.; van der Meulen, M. C. H.; Little, D. G.
Responsible Garvan Author Dr Michelle McDonald
Publisher Name BONE
Published Date 2020-02-28
Published Volume 131
Published Pages 115054
Status Published in-print
DOI 10.1016/j.bone.2019.115054
URL link to publisher's version