W. Yang, D. Guo, M.A. Harris, Y. Cui, J. Gluhak-Heinrich, J. Wu, X.-D. Chen, C Skinner, J. Nyman, J.R. Edwards, G.R. Mundy, A. Lichtler, B. Kream, D. Rowe, I. Kalajzic, V. David, D. Quarles, D. Villareal, Greg Scott, Manas Ray, S. Liu, J.F. Martin, Y. Mishina and S.E. Harris
We generated a new Bmp2 conditional knock-out allele without a neo cassette and removed Bmp2 gene in osteoblasts (Bmp2-cKOob) using the 3.6Col1a1-Cre transgenic model. Bones of Bmp2-cKOob mice are thinner, with increased brittleness. Osteoblast activity is reduced as reflected in reduced bone formation rate, and failure to differentiate to a mature mineralizing stage. Bmp2 in osteoblasts also indirectly controls angiogenesis in the periosteum and bone marrow. VegfA production is reduced in Bmp2-cKOob osteoblasts. Deletion of Bmp2 in osteoblasts also leads to defective mesenchymal stem cells (MSC), which correlates with the reduced microvascular bed in the periosteum and trabecular bones. Several marker genes of MSC (α-SMA, CD146 and Angiopoietin-1), in vitro CFU assays and deletion of the Bmp2 gene in vitro in α-SMA+ BMSC support our conclusions. Critical roles of the Bmp2 gene in osteoblasts and MSC are a vital link between bone formation, vascularization and mesenchymal stem cells.