Rett syndrome (RTT) is a neurodevelopmental disorder predominately affecting young females, caused by deficiency of the global transcriptional protein methyl CpG binding protein 2 (MeCP2). Osteoblasts express MeCP2 and girls with RTT experience early onset osteoporosis, decreased bone mass and an increased fracture risk. There is no defined treatment for osteoporosis associated with RTT.
The pathogenesis of bisphosphonate-related osteonecrosis of the jaw (BRONJ) remains unknown, and the development of a reliable experimental model would help to improve our understanding of it.
Justin Bobyn, Anton Rasch, Mikulec Kathy, David G. Little, and Aaron Schindeler
Spinal pseudarthrosis is a well described complication of spine fusion surgery in NF1 patients. Reduced bone formation and excessive resorption have been described in NF1 and anti-resorptive agents may be advantageous in these individuals. In this study, 16 wild type and 16 Nf1+/− mice were subjected to posterolateral fusion using collagen sponges containing 5 µg rhBMP-2 introduced bilaterally. Mice were dosed twice weekly with 0.02 mg/kg zoledronic acid (ZA) or sterile saline. The fusion mass was assessed for bone volume (BV) and bone mineral density (BMD) by microCT. Co-treatment using rhBMP-2 and ZA produced a significant increase (p < 0.01) in BV of the fusion mass compared to rhBMP-2 alone in both wild type mice (+229%) and Nf1+/− mice (+174%). Co-treatment also produced a significantly higher total BMD of the fusion mass compared to rhBMP-2 alone in both groups (p < 0.01). Despite these gains with anti-resorptive treatment, Nf1+/− deficient mice still generated less bone than wild type controls. TRAP staining on histological sections indicated an increased osteoclast surface/bone surface (Oc.S/BS) in Nf1+/− mice relative to wild type mice, and this was reduced with ZA treatment.
Link To Article
Tianyi D. Luo and Matthew R. Allen
Atypical femoral fractures, which display characteristics of brittle material failure, have been associated with potent remodeling suppression drugs. Given the millions of individuals treated with this class of drugs it is likely that other factors play a role in these fractures. Some evidence suggests concomitant use of corticosteroids may contribute to the pathogenesis although data in this area is lacking. The goal of this study was to assess the combined role of bisphosphonates and dexamethasone on bone mechanical properties. Skeletally mature beagle dogs were either untreated controls, or treated with zoledronic acid (ZOL), dexamethasone (DEX), or ZOL + DEX. Zoledronic acid (0.06 mg/kg) was given monthly via IV infusion for 9 months. DEX (5 mg) was administered daily for one week during each of the last three months of the 9 month experiment. Ribs were harvested and assessed for bone geometry, mechanical properties, and remodeling rate (n=3-6 specimens per group). DEX significantly suppressed intracortical remodeling compared to vehicle controls while both ZOL and the combination of DEX+ZOL nearly abolished intracortical remodeling. ZOL treatment resulted in significantly lower bone toughness, determined from 3-point bending tests, compared to all other treatment groups while the toughness in ZOL+DEX animals was identical to those of untreated controls. These findings suggest not only that short-courses of dexamethasone do not adversely affect toughness in the setting of bisphosphonates, they actually reverse the adverse effects of its treatment. Understanding the mechanism for this tissue-level effect could lead to novels approaches for reducing the risk of atypical femoral fractures.
Link to Article
DJ Kubek, DB Burr, MR Allen
The pathophysiology of osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ) is thought to be linked to suppression of intracortical remodeling. The aim of this study was to determine whether mice, which normally do not undergo appreciable amounts of intracortical remodeling, could be stimulated by ovariectomy to remodel within the cortex of the mandible and if bisphosphonates (BPs) would suppress this intracortical remodeling. Skeletally mature female C3H mice were either ovariectomized (OVX) or SHAM operated and treated with two intravenous doses of zoledronic acid (ZOL, 0.06 mg/kg body weight) or vehicle (VEH). This ZOL dose corresponds to the dose given to patients with cancer on a mg/kg basis, adjusted for body weight. Calcein was administered prior to sacrifice to label active formation sites. Dynamic histomorphometry of the mandible and femur was performed. Vehicle-treated OVX animals had significantly higher (eightfold) intracortical remodeling of the alveolar portion of the mandible compared to sham – this was significantly suppressed by ZOL treatment. At all skeletal sites, overall bone formation rate was lower with ZOL treatment compared to the corresponding VEH group. Under normal conditions, the level of intracortical remodeling in the mouse mandible is minimal but in C3H mice it can be stimulated to appreciable levels with ovariectomy. Based on this, if the suppression of intracortical remodeling is found to be part of the pathophysiology of ONJ, the ovariectomized C3H mouse could serve as a useful tool for studying this condition.