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PLoS One. 2012;7(4):e35280. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0035280. Epub 2012 Apr 20.

Targeted overexpression of osteoactivin in cells of osteoclastic lineage promotes osteoclastic resorption and bone loss in mice.

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  • 1Regenerative Medicine Division, Department of Medicine, Loma Linda University School of Medicine, Loma Linda, California, United States of America.


This study sought to test whether targeted overexpression of osteoactivin (OA) in cells of osteoclastic lineage, using the tartrate-resistant acid phosphase (TRAP) exon 1B/C promoter to drive OA expression, would increase bone resorption and bone loss in vivo. OA transgenic osteoclasts showed ∼2-fold increases in OA mRNA and proteins compared wild-type (WT) osteoclasts. However, the OA expression in transgenic osteoblasts was not different. At 4, 8, and 15.3 week-old, transgenic mice showed significant bone loss determined by pQCT and confirmed by μ-CT. In vitro, transgenic osteoclasts were twice as large, had twice as much TRAP activity, resorbed twice as much bone matrix, and expressed twice as much osteoclastic genes (MMP9, calciton receptor, and ADAM12), as WT osteoclasts. The siRNA-mediated suppression of OA expression in RAW264.7-derived osteoclasts reduced cell size and osteoclastic gene expression. Bone histomorphometry revealed that transgenic mice had more osteoclasts and osteoclast surface. Plasma c-telopeptide (a resorption biomarker) measurements confirmed an increase in bone resorption in transgenic mice in vivo. In contrast, histomorphometric bone formation parameters and plasma levels of bone formation biomarkers (osteocalcin and pro-collagen type I N-terminal peptide) were not different between transgenic mice and WT littermates, indicating the lack of bone formation effects. In conclusion, this study provides compelling in vivo evidence that osteoclast-derived OA is a novel stimulator of osteoclast activity and bone resorption.

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