Int J Biol Sci 2016; 12(8):990-999. doi:10.7150/ijbs.14077 This issue

Research Paper

Fibroblast Growth Factor Receptor 3 Deficiency Does Not Impair the Osteoanabolic Action of Parathyroid Hormone on Mice

Yangli Xie1*, Lingxian Yi1,3*, Tujun Weng 1, Junlan Huang 1, Fengtao Luo 1, Wanling Jiang1, Cory J Xian2, Xiaolan Du1✉, Lin Chen1✉

1. Center of Bone Metabolism and Repair, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, State Key Laboratory of Trauma, Burns and Combined injury, Trauma Center, Research Institute of Surgery, Daping Hospital, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing 400042, China;
2. Sansom Institute for Health Research, School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, University of South Australia, Adelaide, SA 5001, Australia.
3. Intensive Care Unit, The 306th hospital of PLA, Beijing 100101, China
* These authors contributed equally to this work.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY-NC) License. See for full terms and conditions.
Xie Y, Yi L, Weng T, Huang J, Luo F, Jiang W, Xian CJ, Du X, Chen L. Fibroblast Growth Factor Receptor 3 Deficiency Does Not Impair the Osteoanabolic Action of Parathyroid Hormone on Mice. Int J Biol Sci 2016; 12(8):990-999. doi:10.7150/ijbs.14077. Available from

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Summary: PTH stimulates bone formation in Fgfr3 knockout mice through promotion of proliferation and differentiation in osteoblasts.

Introduction: Previous studies showed that endogenous fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF-2) is required for parathyroid hormone (PTH)-stimulated bone anabolic effects, however, the exact mechanisms by which PTH stimulate bone formation and the function of FGF receptors in mediating these actions are not fully defined. FGF receptor 3 (FGFR3) has been characterized as an important regulator of bone metabolism and is confirmed to cross-talk with PTH/PTHrP signal in cartilage and bone development.

Methods: Fgfr3 knockout and wild-type mice at 2-month-old and 4-month-old were intraperitoneally injected with PTH intermittently for 4 weeks and then the skeletal responses to PTH were assessed by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA), micro-computed tomography (μCT) and bone histomorphometry.

Results: Intermittent PTH treatment improved bone mineral density (BMD) and femoral mechanical properties in both Fgfr3-/- and wild-type mice. Histomorphometric analysis showed that bone formation and bone resorption were increased in both genotypes following PTH treatment. PTH treatment increased trabecular bone volume (BV/TV) in WT and Fgfr3-deficient mice. The anabolic response in Fgfr3-deficient and wild-type bone is characterized by an increase of both bone formation and resorption-related genes following PTH treatment. In addition, we found that Fgfr3 null osteoblasts (compared to wild-type controls) maintained normal abilities to response to PTH-stimulated increase of proliferation, differentiation, expression of osteoblastic marker genes (Cbfa1, Osteopontin and Osteocalcin), and phosphorylation of Erk1/2.

Conclusions: Bone anabolic effects of PTH were not impaired by the absence of FGFR3, suggesting that the FGFR3 signaling may not be required for osteoanabolic effects of PTH activities.

Keywords: PTH, FGFR3, Knockout mice, Bone remodeling, Osteoblast