The Eph receptor tyrosine kinase ligand, ephrinB1 (EfnB1) is important for correct skeletal and cartilage development, however, the role of EfnB1 in fracture repair is unknown. This study investigated the role of EfnB1 during fracture repair where EfnB1 expression increased significantly at 1 and 2 weeks post fracture in C57Bl/6 wildtype mice, coinciding with the haematoma, soft callus formation/remodelling stages, respectively. To investigate the specific role of EfnB1 within the osteogenic lineage during fracture repair, male mice with a conditional deletion of EfnB1 in the osteogenic lineage (EfnB1OB fl/O), driven by the Osterix (Osx) promoter, and their male Osx:Cre counterparts were subject to a femoral fracture with internal fixation. Two weeks post fracture micro computed tomography (μCT) analysis revealed that EfnB1OB fl/O mice displayed a significant decrease in bone volume relative to tissue volume within the fracture callus. This was attributed to an alteration in the distribution of osteoclasts within the fracture site, a significant elevation in cartilaginous tissue and reduction in the osteoprogenitor population and calcein labelled bone within the fracture site of EfnB1OB fl/O mice. Supportive in vitro studies demonstrated that under osteogenic conditions, cultured EfnB1OB fl/O stromal cells derived from the 2 week fracture site exhibited a reduced capacity to produce mineral and decreased expression of the osteogenic gene, Osterix, when compared to Osx:Cre controls. These findings suggest that the loss of EfnB1 delays the fracture repair process. The present study confirmed that EFNB1 activation in human BMSC, following stimulation with soluble-EphB2 resulted in de-phosphorylation of TAZ, demonstrating similarities in EfnB1 signalling between human and mouse stromal populations. Overall, the present study provides evidence that loss of EfnB1 in the osteo/chondrogenic lineages delays the soft callus formation/remodelling stages of the fracture repair process.
- Bone remodelling
- Eph/ephrin receptor tyrosine kinases
- Fracture repair
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism