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Calcif Tissue Int. 2002 Aug;71(2):145-54. Epub 2002 Jun 20.

Osteopontin deficiency increases mineral content and mineral crystallinity in mouse bone.

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Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, NY 10021, USA.


Fourier transform infrared microspectroscopy (FTIRM) and infrared imaging (FTIRI) were used to characterize the mineral in bones of two different lines of Opn-deficient (Opn-/-) mice and their background-matched wild-type controls (Opn+/+). Sections of tibia and femur from 12-week-old and 16-week-old mice were evaluated with a spatial resolution between 10 microm (FTIRM) and 7 microm (FTIRI). FTIRI was used to examine 400 microm x 400 microm areas in cortical bone and trabecular bone and FTIRM examined selected 20 microm x 20 microm areas at sites within these anatomically defined areas. Despite the absence of an obvious phenotype in Opn-deficient mice, being undetectable by radiographic and histological methods, FTIRM analyses revealed that the relative amount of mineral in the more mature areas of the bone (central cortical bone) of Opn-knockout mice was significantly increased. Moreover, mineral maturity (mineral crystal size and perfection) throughout all anatomic regions of the Opn-deficient bone was significantly increased. The 2-dimensional, color-coded data (images) produced by FTIRI showed similar increases in mineral maturity in the Opn-/- bone, however, the crystallinity parameters were less sensitive, and significance was not achieved in all areas analyzed. Nonetheless, the findings of increased mineral content and increased crystal size/perfection in both lines of Opn-deficient mice at both ages are consistent with in vitro data indicating that Opn is a potent inhibitor of mineral formation and mineral crystal growth and proliferation, and also support a role for Opn in osteoclast recruitment and function.

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