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Mol Endocrinol. 2013 Aug;27(8):1311-21. doi: 10.1210/me.2012-1398. Epub 2013 Jun 24.

Metastasin S100A4 is a mediator of sex hormone-dependent formation of the cortical bone.

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  • 1Department of Rheumatology and Inflammation Research, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Göteborg, S-41346 Göteborg, Sweden.


S100A4 is a Ca-binding protein participating in regulation of cell growth, survival, and motility. Here we studied the role of S100A4 protein in sex hormone-regulated bone formation. Bone mineral density in the trabecular and cortical compartments was evaluated in female S100A4 knockout (KO), in matched wild-type (WT) counterparts, and in WT mice treated with lentiviral small hairpin RNA construct inhibiting the S100A4 gene transcription or with a nontargeting construct, by peripheral quantitative computed tomography. The effect of sex hormones on bone was measured 5 weeks after ovariectomy (OVX) and/or dehydroepiadrosterone treatment. S100A4KO had an excessive trabecular and cortical bone formation compared with the age- and sex-matched WT mice. S100A4KO had an increased periosteal circumference (P = .001), cortical thickness (P = .056), and cortical area (P = .003), which predicted 20% higher bone strength in S100A4KO (P = .013). WT mice treated with small hairpin RNA-S100A4 showed an increase of the cortical bone parameters in a fashion identical with S100A4KO mice, indicating the key role of S100A4 in the changed bone formation. S100A4KO mice had higher serum levels of osteocalcin and a higher number of osteocalcin-positive osteoblasts under the periosteum. OVX-S100A4 resulted in the loss of the cortical bone supported by high CTX-I levels, whereas no such changes were observed in OVX-WT mice. S100A4KO mice resisted the dehydroepiadrosterone -induced bone formation observed in the WT counterparts. Our study indicates that S100A4 is a regulator of bone formation, which inhibits bone excess in the estrogen-sufficient mice and prevents the cortical bone loss in the estrogen-deprived mice.

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