TGFβ inducible early gene-1 (TIEG) was originally cloned from human osteoblasts (OB) and has been shown to play an important role in TGFβ/Smad signaling, regulation of gene expression and OB growth and differentiation. To better understand the biological role of TIEG in the skeleton, we have generated congenic TIEG-null (TIEG-/-) mice in a pure C57BL/6 background. Through the use of DXA and pQCT analysis, we have demonstrated that the femurs and tibias of two-month-old female TIEG-/- mice display significant decreases in total bone mineral content, density, and area relative to wild-type (WT) littermates. However, no differences were observed for any of these bone parameters in male mice. Further characterization of the bone phenotype of female TIEG-/- mice involved mechanical 3-point bending tests, micro-CT, and histomorphometric analyses of bone. The 3-point bending tests revealed that the femurs of female TIEG-/- mice have reduced strength with increased flexibility compared to WT littermates. Micro-CT analysis of femurs of two-month-old female TIEG-/- mice revealed significant decreases in cortical bone parameters compared to WT littermates. Histomorphometric evaluation of the distal femur revealed that female TIEG-/- mice also display a 31% decrease in cancellous bone area, which is primarily due to a decrease in trabecular number. At the cellular level, female TIEG-/- mice exhibit a 42% reduction in bone formation rate which is almost entirely due to a reduction in double labeled perimeter. Differences in mineral apposition rate were not detected between WT and TIEG-/- mice. Taken together, these findings suggest that female TIEG-/- mice are osteopenic mainly due to a decrease in the total number of functional/mature OBs.
- Knockout mice
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism