Evaluating the healing potential of PTH on femoral shaft fractures in B6, C3, and AJ mice
Parathyroid hormone is a vital mediator of bone metabolism and studies have shown that exogenous treatment can enhance the fracture repair process in murine models. Bone remodeling is a complex process that necessitates multiple molecular and cellular interactions that are affected by genetic variations. These differences contribute to both histological and whole organ level differences of fracture healing. This study was performed to determine the effect of genetic variability of fracture healing in mice treated with parathyroid hormone during two time windows. The first window was the first 14-day period post fracture associated with chondrogensis and the second was the day 15 to day 28 post fracture, which is associated with osteogenesis. Three inbred strains of mice A/J (AJ), C57BL/6J (B6), and C3H/HeJ (C3) that have material and structural differences in bone quality were given Femoral shaft fractures and healing was evaluated at different time points post fracture using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) and qualitative radiographic analysis. Chondrogenic genes Sox9, ColIIa, aggrecan, and ColXa and osteogenic genes ostrix, osteocalcin, BSP, and DMP1 were examined. The temporal analysis of mRNA expression revealed that PTH treatment given in the first 14 days post fracture enhanced osteogenic and chondrogenic expression in B6 mice, but hindered expression in AJ mice. Treatment with PTH from post fracture day 14 to day 28 greatly affected the osteogenic expression of B6 mice, but had little affect on other animals. Radiographic analysis showed that each strain presents callus formation at approximately day 7 and reaches maximum size at day 21 post fracture. Additionally B6 mice appear with the largest callus and AJ the smallest. Taken together, these results are consistent with past studies in showing that different strains of mice express a unique temporal and mRNA expression pattern of chondrogenic and osteogenic differentiation. Furthermore, these variations affect the biomechanical properties of the fracture callus during bone remodeling.