[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mice with null mutations of ciliary neurotrophic factor (Cntf) receptor alpha (Cntf-Ralpha), or cytokine-like factor 1 (Clf), one component of Cntf-II (a heterodimeric Cntf-Ralpha ligand), die as neonates from motor neuron loss affecting the facial nucleus and ventral horn of the lumbar spinal cord. Exposure to cardiotrophin-like cytokine (Clc), the other putative Cntf-II element, supports motor neuron survival in vitro and in ovo. Confirmation that Clc ablation induces an equivalent phenotype to Clf deletion would support a role for Clc in the functional Cntf-II complex. In this study, Clc knockout mice had decreased facial motility, did not suckle, died within 24 hours, and had 32% and 29% fewer motor neurons in the facial nucleus and lumbar ventral horn, respectively; thus, Clc is essential for motor neuron survival during development. The concordance of the Clc knockout phenotype with those of mice lacking Cntf-Ralpha or Clf bolsters the hypothesis that Clc participates in Cntf-II.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: RANKL is a TNF family member that mediates osteoclast formation, activation, and survival by activating RANK. The proresorptive effects of RANKL are prevented by binding to its soluble inhibitor osteoprotegerin (OPG). Recombinant human OPG-Fc recognizes RANKL from multiple species and reduced bone resorption and increased bone volume, density, and strength in a number of rodent models of bone disease. The clinical development of OPG-Fc was discontinued in favor of denosumab, a fully human monoclonal antibody that specifically inhibits primate RANKL. Direct binding assays showed that denosumab bound to human RANKL but not to murine RANKL, human TRAIL, or other human TNF family members. Denosumab did not suppress bone resorption in normal mice or rats but did prevent the resorptive response in mice challenged with a human RANKL fragment encoded primarily by the fifth exon of the RANKL gene. To create mice that were responsive to denosumab, knock-in technology was used to replace exon 5 from murine RANKL with its human ortholog. The resulting “huRANKL” mice exclusively express chimeric (human/murine) RANKL that was measurable with a human RANKL assay and that maintained bone resorption at slightly reduced levels versus wildtype controls. In young huRANKL mice, denosumab and OPG-Fc each reduced trabecular osteoclast surfaces by 95% and increased bone density and volume. In adult huRANKL mice, denosumab reduced bone resorption, increased cortical and cancellous bone mass, and improved trabecular microarchitecture. These huRANKL mice have potential utility for characterizing the activity of denosumab in a variety of murine bone disease models.
Journal of bone and mineral research: the official journal of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research 11/2008; 24(2):182 - 195. DOI:10.1359/jbmr.081112 · 6.83 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Introduction: Ovariectomy (OVX) results in bone loss caused by increased bone resorption. RANKL is an essential mediator of bone resorption. We examined whether the RANKL inhibitor osteoprotegerin (OPG) would preserve bone volume, density, and strength in OVX rats.Materials and Methods: Rats were OVX or sham-operated at 3 mo of age. Sham controls were treated for 6 wk with vehicle (Veh, PBS). OVX rats were treated with Veh or human OPG-Fc (10 mg/kg, 2/wk). Serum RANKL and TRACP5b was measured by ELISA. BMD of lumbar vertebrae (L1–L5) and distal femur was measured by DXA. Right distal femurs were processed for bone histomorphometry. Left femurs and the fifth lumbar vertebra (L5) were analyzed by μCT and biomechanical testing, and L6 was analyzed for ash weight.Results: OVX was associated with significantly greater serum RANKL and osteoclast surface and with reduced areal and volumetric BMD. OPG markedly reduced osteoclast surface and serum TRACP5b while completely preventing OVX-associated bone loss in the lumbar vertebrae, distal femur, and femur neck. Vertebrae from OPG-treated rats had increased dry and ash weight, with no significant differences in tissue mineralization versus OVX controls. μCT showed that trabecular compartments in OVX-OPG rats had significantly greater bone volume fraction, vBMD, bone area, trabecular thickness, and number, whereas their cortical compartments had significantly greater bone area (p < 0.05 versus OVX-Veh). OPG improved cortical area in L5 and the femur neck to levels that were significantly greater than OVX or sham controls (p < 0.05). Biomechanical testing of L5 and femur necks showed significantly greater maximum load values in the OVX-OPG group (p < 0.05 versus OVX-Veh). Bone strength at both sites was linearly correlated with total bone area (r2 = 0.54–0.74, p < 0.0001), which was also significantly increased by OPG (p < 0.05 versus OVX).Conclusions: OPG treatment prevented bone loss, preserved trabecular architecture, and increased cortical area and bone strength in OVX rats.
Journal of bone and mineral research: the official journal of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research 04/2008; 23(5):672 - 682. DOI:10.1359/jbmr.080109 · 6.83 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Receptor activator of NF-kappaB ligand (RANKL) is an essential mediator of osteoclast formation, function, and survival. The effects of RANKL are inhibited by a soluble decoy receptor called osteoprotegerin (OPG). Total ablation of RANKL in knockout mice leads to high bone mass, lymph node agenesis, and altered lymphocyte differentiation. In contrast, RANKL inhibition via OPG suppresses bone resorption but not inflammation in animal models of inflammatory bone loss. This suggests that the immune phenotype of RANKL knockout mice is related to total RANKL ablation. We hypothesized that prenatal RANKL inhibition via OPG overexpression would suppress bone resorption without influencing lymph node formation or subsequent immune responses. Transgenic rats were created, wherein soluble OPG was overexpressed by 100-fold vs wild type (WT) controls, by gestational day 11 (i.e., before lymph node formation). The structure of lymph nodes, spleen, and thymus of OPG-transgenic (OPG-Tg) animals were comparable to those of age-matched WT rats at gestational day 19 and in adulthood. The OPG-Tg neonates had elevated bone mass, confirming the prenatal inhibition of RANKL. Adult OPG-Tg rats and OPG-Tg mice exhibited no significant functional alterations relative to WT controls when subjected to immune challenges to test for altered innate and humoral responses (e.g., contact hypersensitivity to oxazolone, IgM response to Pneumovax, IgG response to keyhole limpet hemocyanin, or cytokine response to LPS). In summary, prenatal RANKL inhibition did not impair lymph node development, nor did continuous life-long RANKL inhibition cause obvious changes in innate or humoral immune responses in mice or rats.
The Journal of Immunology 01/2008; 179(11):7497-505. DOI:10.4049/jimmunol.179.11.7497 · 4.92 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Artemin (ART) signals through the GFR alpha-3/RET receptor complex to support sympathetic neuron development. Here we show that ART also influences autonomic elements in adrenal medulla and enteric and pelvic ganglia. Transgenic mice over-expressing Art throughout development exhibited systemic autonomic neural lesions including fusion of adrenal medullae with adjacent paraganglia, adrenal medullary dysplasia, and marked enlargement of sympathetic (superior cervical and sympathetic chain ganglia) and parasympathetic (enteric, pelvic) ganglia. Changes began by gestational day 12.5 and formed progressively larger masses during adulthood. Art supplementation in wild type adult mice by administering recombinant protein or an Art-bearing retroviral vector resulted in hyperplasia or neuronal metaplasia at the adrenal corticomedullary junction. Expression data revealed that Gfr alpha-3 is expressed during development in the adrenal medulla, sensory and autonomic ganglia and their projections, while Art is found in contiguous mesenchymal domains (especially skeleton) and in certain nerves. Intrathecal Art therapy did not reduce hypalgesia in rats following nerve ligation. These data (1) confirm that ART acts as a differentiation factor for autonomic (chiefly sympathoadrenal but also parasympathetic) neurons, (2) suggest a role for ART overexpression in the genesis of pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas, and (3) indicate that ART is not a suitable therapy for peripheral neuropathy.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: During our initial attempts to produce transgenic rats, we found that an anaesthetic combination typically used for embryo transfer (intramuscular injection of ketamine [90 mg/kg] with xylazine [10 mg/kg]) yielded extensive variation in both the depth and length of anaesthesia. In the present prospective study, we compared the reproductive outcomes afforded by using either isoflurane (5% for induction, 2% for maintenance, carried in 2 l/min of oxygen) with morphine (5 mg/kg s.c., given immediately after isoflurane induction) or ketamine/xylazine in adult (250-300 g), pseudopregnant Sprague-Dawley rats. Each animal was anaesthetized with either isoflurane/morphine or ketamine/xylazine, after which 30 microinjected eggs were transferred into the left uterine horn. The mean pregnancy rate for isoflurane/morphine (15%) was 50% greater than that achieved with ketamine/xylazine (10%). The mean number of live pups (just over five per litter) was comparable for both regimens. All rats given isoflurane/morphine quickly achieved a surgical depth of anaesthesia and experienced a rapid postoperative recovery (3-5 min). In contrast, 25% of rats injected with ketamine/xylazine did not reach a depth of anaesthesia within 10 min that was sufficient for laparotomy, and all that were anaesthetized successfully required an extended postoperative recovery period (60-90 min). These data show that isoflurane/morphine is well tolerated by microinjected embryos and suggest that its use during embryo transfer may provide a means for both reducing the number of pseudopregnant females used and increasing the speed with which rat transgenic projects are completed.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to examine the response of rats of different genetic backgrounds to various superovulatory hormonal treatments. Immature Sprague Dawley (SD), FBNF1, and F344 female rats (30 to 35 days of age) were used for this study as representatives of outbred, hybrid, and inbred strains respectively. Animals from each strain were allocated into four groups of hormone treatments as follows: 1) 30 IU pregnant mare serum gonadotrophin (PMSG) intraperitoneally (i.p.) followed 52 h later with 25 IU human chorionic gonadotrophin (HCG) i.p.; 2) 15 IU PMSG i.p. followed 52 h later with 7.5 IU HCG i.p.; 3) 1.0 IU follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) daily via Alzet mini-pumps for 60 h; and 4) 1.0 IU FSH daily via Alzet mini-pumps for 54 h followed by 10 mg luteinizing hormone (LH). The efficacies of the hormone treatments were evaluated using the following criteria: % mated, % ovulated, total oocytes per female, and % fertilized. The % mated of SD rats treated with PMSG(30)+HCG(25) was significantly higher (P < 0.05) than that of animals treated with PMSG(15)+HCG(7.5); in addition, the total oocytes per female was significantly higher (P < 0.05) for SD animals receiving PMSG(30)+HCG(25) than all other treatments. The % ovulated of SD rats was significantly lower (P < 0.05) in response to FSH alone as compared to all other treatments. The % ovulated for FBNF1 rats was significantly greater (P < 0.05) in response to both PMSG+HCG treatments as compared to FSH and FSH+LH. The % ovulated and % fertilized were significantly lower (P < 0.05) in F344 rats treated with FSH alone as compared to all other treatments. F344 rats produced significantly (P < 0.05) more oocytes per female in response to both PMSG+HCG treatments as compared to FSH and FHS+LH. The % ovulated of SD and F344 rats were significantly higher (P < 0.05) than that of FBNF1 rats in response to FSH and FSH+LH. SD rats produced a significantly greater (P < 0.05) number of oocytes per female than did FBNF1 rats in response to PMSG(30)+HCG(25) and a significantly greater (P < 0.05) number of oocytes per female as compared to those of FBNF1 and F344 rats in response to FSH and FSH+LH. The % fertilized of SD and FBNF1 rats were significantly higher (P < 0.05) than that of F344 rats in response to PMSG(15)+HCG(7.5). Our study demonstrates that treatment with PMSG+HCG is an effective method of eliciting superovulatory responses according to most criteria examined. We have also shown that outbred (SD) rats generally produced more oocytes per female in response to hormonal stimulation than did inbred and hybrid rats. Our results indicate that different strains of rats have various degrees of hormone sensitivity and response to different superovulation protocols.
Contemporary topics in laboratory animal science / American Association for Laboratory Animal Science 03/2002; 41(2):18-23. · 0.82 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have generated RANK (receptor activator of NF-κB) nullizygous mice to determine the molecular genetic interactions between
osteoprotegerin, osteoprotegerin ligand, and RANK during bone resorption and remodeling processes. RANK−/− mice lack osteoclasts and have a profound defect in bone resorption and remodeling and in the development of the cartilaginous
growth plates of endochondral bone. The osteopetrosis observed in these mice can be reversed by transplantation of bone marrow
from rag1−/− (recombinase activating gene 1) mice, indicating that RANK−/− mice have an intrinsic defect in osteoclast function. Calciotropic hormones and proresorptive cytokines that are known to
induce bone resorption in mice and human were administered to RANK−/− mice without inducing hypercalcemia, although tumor necrosis factor α treatment leads to the rare appearance of osteoclast-like
cells near the site of injection. Osteoclastogenesis can be initiated in RANK−/− mice by transfer of the RANK cDNA back into hematopoietic precursors, suggesting a means to critically evaluate RANK structural features required for
bone resorption. Together these data indicate that RANK is the intrinsic cell surface determinant that mediates osteoprotegerin
ligand effects on bone resorption and remodeling as well as the physiological and pathological effects of calciotropic hormones
and proresorptive cytokines.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 02/2000; 97(4):1566-1571. DOI:10.1073/pnas.97.4.1566 · 9.67 Impact Factor