Muscle damage and disuse muscular atrophy are detrimental for fracture healing. It has been reported that the Akt signaling pathway plays a role in skeletal muscle hypertrophy and atrophy. The aim of this study was to further investigate whether promoting local muscle function through regulating Akt signaling affects fracture healing. For this purpose, we combined a rat model of short-term atrophy of the quadriceps with a femoral fracture model.
FGF9 has complex and important roles in skeletal development and repair. We have previously observed that Fgf9 expression in osteoblasts (OBs) is regulated by G protein signaling and therefore the present study was done to determine whether OB-derived FGF9 was important in skeletal homeostasis. To directly test this idea, we deleted functional expression of Fgf9 gene in OBs using a 2.3 kb collagen type I promoter-driven Cre transgenic mouse line (Fgf9OB−/−). Both Fgf9 knockout (Fgf9OB−/−) and the Fgf9 floxed littermates (Fgf9fl/fl) mice were fully backcrossed and maintained in an FBV/N background.