Osteocyte-specific WNT1 regulates osteoblast function during bone homeostasis

Mutations in WNT1 cause osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) and early-onset osteoporosis, identifying it as a key Wnt ligand in human bone homeostasis. However, how and where WNT1 acts in bone are unclear. To address this mechanism, we generated late-osteoblast-specific and osteocyte-specific WNT1 loss- and gain-of-function mouse models. Deletion of Wnt1 in osteocytes resulted in low bone mass with spontaneous fractures similar to that observed in OI patients.

Skeletal Characteristics of WNT1 Osteoporosis in Children and Young Adults

WNT proteins comprise a 19-member glycoprotein family that act in several developmental and regenerative processes. In bone, WNT proteins regulate osteoblast differentiation and maintain bone health by activating the canonical WNT/β-catenin pathway. We reported a heterozygous missense mutation c.652T>G (p.C218G) in WNT1 exon 4 as the cause for severe early-onset, autosomal dominant osteoporosis. The initial study concerned a large Finnish family with 10 affected adults.