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Keywords:

  • PTH;
  • Prg4;
  • bone;
  • liver;
  • FGF-2

Abstract

Proteoglycan 4 (Prg4), known for its lubricating and protective actions in joints, is a strong candidate regulator of skeletal homeostasis and parathyroid hormone (PTH) anabolism. Prg4 is a PTH-responsive gene in bone and liver. Prg4 null mutant mice were used to investigate the impact of proteoglycan 4 on skeletal development, remodeling, and PTH anabolic actions. Young Prg4 mutant and wild-type mice were administered intermittent PTH(1–34) or vehicle daily from 4 to 21 days. Young Prg4 mutant mice had decreased growth plate hypertrophic zones, trabecular bone, and serum bone formation markers versus wild-type mice, but responded with a similar anabolic response to PTH. Adult Prg4 mutant and wild-type mice were administered intermittent PTH(1–34) or vehicle daily from 16 to 22 weeks. Adult Prg4 mutant mice had decreased trabecular and cortical bone, and blunted PTH-mediated increases in bone mass. Joint range of motion and animal mobility were lower in adult Prg4 mutant versus wild-type mice. Adult Prg4 mutant mice had decreased marrow and liver fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF-2) mRNA and reduced serum FGF-2, which were normalized by PTH. A single dose of PTH decreased the PTH/PTHrP receptor (PPR), and increased Prg4 and FGF-2 to a similar extent in liver and bone. Proteoglycan 4 supports endochondral bone formation and the attainment of peak trabecular bone mass, and appears to support skeletal homeostasis indirectly by protecting joint function. Bone- and liver-derived FGF-2 likely regulate proteoglycan 4 actions supporting trabeculae formation. Blunted PTH anabolic responses in adult Prg4 mutant mice are associated with altered biomechanical impact secondary to joint failure. © 2012 American Society for Bone and Mineral Research