Blocking CCN2 preferentially inhibits osteoclastogenesis induced by repetitive high force bone loading

Mary F. Barbe, Mamta Amin, Anne Gingery, Alex G. Lambi, Steven N. Popoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Purpose/Aim: We recently found that blocking CCN2 signaling using a monoclonal antibody (FG-3019) may be a novel therapeutic strategy for reducing overuse-induced tissue fibrosis. Since CCN2 plays roles in osteoclastogenesis, and persistent performance of a high repetition high force (HRHF) lever pulling task results in a loss in trabecular bone volume in the radius, we examined here whether blocking CCN2 signaling would reduce the early catabolic effects of performing a HRHF task for 3 weeks. Materials and Methods: Young adult, female, Sprague-Dawley rats were operantly shaped to learn to pull at high force levels, before performing the HRHF task for 3 weeks. HRHF task rats were then left untreated (HRHF Untreated), treated in task weeks 2 and 3 with a monoclonal antibody that antagonizes CCN2 (HRHF+FG-3019), or treated with an IgG (HRHF+IgG), while continuing to perform the task. Non-task control rats were left untreated. Results: In metaphyseal trabeculae of the distal radius, HRHF Untreated and HRHF-IgG rats showed increased osteoblast numbers and other indices of bone formation, compared to controls, yet decreased trabecular bone volume, increased osteoclast numbers, and increased serum CTX-1 (a serum biomarker of bone resorption). HRHF+FG-3019 rats also showed increased osteoblast numbers and bone formation, but in contrast to HRHF Untreated and HRHF-IgG rats, showed higher trabecular bone volume, and reduced osteoclast numbers and serum CTX-1 levels (and statistically similar to Control levels). Conclusions: HRHF loading increased bone formation in each task group, yet blocking CCN2 dampened trabecular bone catabolism by reducing osteoclast numbers and activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-132
Number of pages18
JournalConnective Tissue Research
StatePublished - 2020


  • CTGF
  • fibrosis
  • muscle
  • musculoskeletal disorders
  • overuse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Biochemistry
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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