We previously discovered a new osteogenic growth factor that is required to maintain adult skeletal bone mass, Osteolectin/Clec11a. Osteolectin acts on Leptin Receptor+ (LepR+) skeletal stem cells and other osteogenic progenitors in bone marrow to promote their differentiation into osteoblasts. Here we identity a receptor for Osteolectin, integrin a11, which is expressed by LepR+ cells and osteoblasts. a11b1 integrin binds Osteolectin with nanomolar affinity and is required for the osteogenic response to Osteolectin. Deletion of Itga11 (which encodes a11) from mouse and human bone marrow stromal cells impaired osteogenic differentiation and blocked their response to Osteolectin. Like Osteolectin deficient mice, Lepr-cre; Itga11fl/fl mice appeared grossly normal but exhibited reduced osteogenesis and accelerated bone loss during adulthood. Osteolectin binding to a11b1 promoted Wnt pathway activation, which was necessary for the osteogenic response to Osteolectin. This reveals a new mechanism for maintenance of adult bone mass: Wnt pathway activation by Osteolectin/a11b1 signaling.
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- Sean J Morrison
- Sean J Morrison
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: This study was performed in accordance with the recommendations in the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals of the National Institutes of Health. All procedures were approved by the UT Southwestern Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (protocol number 2016-101334-G).
- Clifford J Rosen, Maine Medical Center Research Institute, United States
© 2019, Shen et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
Reprogramming of the cochlea with hair-cell-specific transcription factors such as ATOH1 has been proposed as a potential therapeutic strategy for hearing loss. ATOH1 expression in the developing cochlea can efficiently induce hair cell regeneration but the efficiency of hair cell reprogramming declines rapidly as the cochlea matures. We developed Cre-inducible mice to compare hair cell reprogramming with ATOH1 alone or in combination with two other hair cell transcription factors, GFI1 and POU4F3. In newborn mice, all transcription factor combinations tested produced large numbers of cells with the morphology of hair cells and rudimentary mechanotransduction properties. However, 1 week later, only a combination of ATOH1, GFI1 and POU4F3 could reprogram non-sensory cells of the cochlea to a hair cell fate, and these new cells were less mature than cells generated by reprogramming 1 week earlier. We used scRNA-seq and combined scRNA-seq and ATAC-seq to suggest at least two impediments to hair cell reprogramming in older animals. First, hair cell gene loci become less epigenetically accessible in non-sensory cells of the cochlea with increasing age. Second, signaling from hair cells to supporting cells, including Notch signaling, can prevent reprogramming of many supporting cells to hair cells, even with three hair cell transcription factors. Our results shed light on the molecular barriers that must be overcome to promote hair cell regeneration in the adult cochlea.
The spatiotemporal blood vessel formation and specification at the osteogenic and angiogenic interface of murine cranial bone defect repair were examined utilizing a high-resolution multiphoton-based imaging platform in conjunction with advanced optical techniques that allow interrogation of the oxygen microenvironment and cellular energy metabolism in living animals. Our study demonstrates the dynamic changes of vessel types, that is, arterial, venous, and capillary vessel networks at the superior and dura periosteum of cranial bone defect, suggesting a differential coupling of the vessel type with osteoblast expansion and bone tissue deposition/remodeling during repair. Employing transgenic reporter mouse models that label distinct types of vessels at the site of repair, we further show that oxygen distributions in capillary vessels at the healing site are heterogeneous as well as time- and location-dependent. The endothelial cells coupling to osteoblasts prefer glycolysis and are less sensitive to microenvironmental oxygen changes than osteoblasts. In comparison, osteoblasts utilize relatively more OxPhos and potentially consume more oxygen at the site of repair. Taken together, our study highlights the dynamics and functional significance of blood vessel types at the site of defect repair, opening up opportunities for further delineating the oxygen and metabolic microenvironment at the interface of bone tissue regeneration.