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Endocrinology. 2002 Mar;143(3):868-76.

Overexpression of human stanniocalcin affects growth and reproduction in transgenic mice.

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Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada N6A 4L6.


In mammals stanniocalcin (STC) is widely expressed, and in the kidney and gut it regulates serum calcium levels by promoting phosphate reabsorption. To shed further light on its functional significance in mammals we have created several lines of mice that express a human STC (hSTC) transgene. Three lines expressed the hSTC transgene, but only two lines exhibited high expression and contained circulating hSTC, and in these animals there was a reduction in postnatal growth (30-50%) that persisted after weaning. Moreover, even wild-type pups exhibited a growth retardation phenotype when nursed by a transgenic foster mother, and this implies that hSTC overexpression deleteriously affects maternal behavior and/or lactation. The reproductive potential of female transgenic mice was also compromised, as evidenced by significantly smaller litter sizes, but transgenic male fertility was unchanged even though the transgene was most highly expressed in testes. Interestingly, transgene-derived serum hSTC increased significantly after puberty and was severalfold higher in females than in males, suggesting a gender-specific mechanism for maintaining elevated circulating levels of STC. Blood analysis revealed that both transgenic lines had elevated phosphate and decreased alkaline phosphatase levels, indicative of altered kidney and bone metabolism. These studies provide the first evidence that STC is involved in growth and reproduction and reaffirm its role in mineral homeostasis.

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