Although inactivating mutations of PLS3, encoding the actin-bundling protein plastin-3, have been identified to cause X-linked osteoporosis, the cellular and molecular influence of PLS3 on bone remodeling is poorly defined. Moreover, although a previous study has demonstrated moderate osteopenia in 12 week-old Pls3-deficient mice based on μCT scanning, there is no reported analysis of such a model on the basis of undecalcified histology and bone-specific histomorphometry. To fill this knowledge gap we applied a deep phenotyping approach and studied Pls3-deficient mice at different ages. Surprisingly, we did not detect significant differences between wildtype and Pls3-deficient littermates with respect to trabecular bone mass, and the same was the case for all histomorphometric parameters determined at 12 weeks of age. Remarkably however, the cortical thickness in both, tibia and femur, was significantly reduced in Pls3-deficient mice in all age groups. We additionally studied the ex vivo behavior of Pls3-deficient primary osteoblasts, which displayed moderately impaired mineralization capacity. Of note, while most osteoblastogenesis markers were not differentially expressed between wildtype and Pls3-deficient cultures, the expression of Sfrp4 was significantly reduced in the latter, a potentially relevant finding, since Sfrp4 inactivation, in mice and humans, specifically causes cortical thinning. We finally addressed the question, if Pls3-deficiency would impair the osteoanabolic influence of parathyroid hormone (PTH). For this purpose we applied daily injection of PTH into wildtype and Pls3-deficient mice and found a similar response regardless of the genotype. Taken together, our data reveal that Pls3-deficiency in mice only recapitulates the cortical bone phenotype of individuals with X-linked osteoporosis by negatively affecting the early stage of cortical bone acquisition.
Bone remodeling; Cortical bone; Plastin-3; X-linked osteoporosis