PLoS One PMID:25693202 (2015)

Inhibited Wnt signaling causes age-dependent abnormalities in the bone matrix mineralization in the Apert syndrome FGFR2(S252W/+) mice

Zhang L1, Chen P2, Chen L3, Weng T4, Zhang S4, Zhou X3, Zhang B4, Liu L3.


Apert syndrome (AS) is a type of autosomal dominant disease characterized by premature fusion of the cranial sutures, severe syndactyly, and other abnormalities in internal organs. Approximately 70% of AS cases are caused by a single mutation, S252W, in fibroblast growth factor receptor 2 (FGFR2). Two groups have generated FGFR2 knock-in mice Fgfr2S252W/+ that exhibit features of AS. During the present study of AS using the Fgfr2S252W/+ mouse model, an age-related phenotype of bone homeostasis was discovered. The long bone mass was lower in 2 month old mutant mice than in age-matched controls but higher in 5 month old mutant mice. This unusual phenotype suggested that bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs), which are vital to maintain bone homeostasis, might be involved. BMSCs were isolated from Fgfr2S252W/+ mice and found that S252W mutation could impair osteogenic differentiation BMSCs but enhance mineralization of more mature osteoblasts. A microarray analysis revealed that Wnt pathway inhibitors SRFP1/2/4 were up-regulated in mutant BMSCs. This work provides evidence to show that the Wnt/β-catenin pathway is inhibited in both mutant BMSCs and osteoblasts, and differentiation defects of these cells can be ameliorated by Wnt3a treatment. The present study suggested that the bone abnormalities caused by deregulation of Wnt pathway may underlie the symptoms of AS.

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