The EphB receptor tyrosine kinase family and their ephrinB ligands have been implicated as mediators of skeletal development and bone homeostasis in humans, where mutations in ephrinB1 contribute to frontonasal dysplasia and coronal craniosynostosis. In mouse models, ephrinB1 has been shown to be a critical factor mediating osteoblast function. The present study examined the functional importance of ephrinB1 during endochondral ossification using the Cre recombination system with targeted deletion of ephrinB1 (EfnB1fl/fl) in osteogenic progenitor cells, under the control of the osterix (Osx:Cre) promoter. The Osx:EfnB1−/− mice displayed aberrant bone growth during embryonic and postnatal skeletal development up to 4 weeks of age, when compared to the Osx:Cre controls. Furthermore, compared to the Osx:Cre control mice, the Osx:EfnB1−/− mice exhibited significantly weaker and less rigid bones, with a reduction in trabecular/ cortical bone formation, reduced trabecular architecture and a reduction in the size of the growth plates at the distal end of the femora from newborn through to 4 weeks of age. The aberrant bone formation correlated with increased numbers of tartrate resistant acid phosphatase positive osteoclasts and decreased numbers of bone lining osteoblasts in 4 week old Osx:EfnB1−/− mice, compared to Osx:Cre control mice. Taken together, these observations demonstrate the importance of ephrinB1 signalling between cells of the skeleton required for endochondral ossification.
- Endochondral ossification
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism