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Bone. 2004 May;34(5):776-82.

Normal mineralization and nanostructure of sclerotic bone in mice overexpressing Fra-1.

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Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Osteology and Fourth Med. Department, Hanusch Hospital and UKH Meidling, Vienna, Austria.


Increased bone mass due to elevated number of active osteoblasts has been reported for transgenic mice overexpressing the transcription factor Fra-1. To explore the potential of the anabolic action of Fra-1 in treatment of osteoporosis, we examined the integrity of bone matrix generated in Fra-1 transgenic mice. Femora from Fra-1 transgenic (Fra-1 tg) and wild-type littermates were analyzed for bone mineralization density distribution (BMDD) and nanostructure using quantitative backscattered electron imaging (qBEI) and scanning small angle X-ray scattering (scanning-SAXS), respectively. For comparison, we studied mice lacking c-Fos (Fos-/-), which develop osteopetrosis because of the absence of osteoclasts. Morphometrical analysis of metaphyseal spongiosa revealed an up to 5-fold increase in bone volume for Fra-1 transgenic compared to wild type. BMDD indicated a transient lower mineralization of bone for Fra-1 transgenic at 5 and 8 weeks, which became comparable to that of wild-type mice by 8 months. The homogeneity of mineralization was not altered in the Fra-1 transgenic mice at any ages examined. However, it was strikingly reduced in Fos-/- due to an abundance of hypermineralized cartilage. The bone nanostructure did not show abnormalities in Fra-1 transgenic or Fos-/-. These results provide a rationale for the development of therapeutic applications involving Fra-1-induced bone formation.

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