Bone 2007 Apr 1;40(4):1135-43. Epub 2007 Feb 1.
Department of Medicine, MC-1850, University of Connecticut Health Center, 263 Farmington Avenue, Farmington, CT 06030, USA.
CREM belongs to the ATF/CREB family of basic leucine zipper transcription factors. We previously showed that PTH induces ICER (inducible cAMP early repressor) in osteoblasts. ICER proteins, which are transcribed from the P2 promoter of the Crem gene, act as transcriptional attenuators. The objective of this study was to determine whether the Crem gene plays a role in the response of bone to intermittent PTH. Adult Crem knockout (KO) and wild type (WT) male mice were given daily subcutaneous injections of vehicle or hPTH(1-34) (160 mug/kg) for 10 days. Bone mineral content and density (BMC and BMD, respectively) were measured in femur and tibia by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA). Bone morphometry was analyzed by X-ray computed microtomography (microCT) and histomorphometry. Serum bone turnover markers were measured. In vitro osteoclast formation assays were performed in bone marrow cultures treated with PTH or the combination of RANKL and M-CSF. KO mice had slightly higher basal bone mass than wild type mice. PTH treatment increased tibial BMC and BMD to a greater extent in WT mice compared to KO mice. PTH increased both cortical area and trabecular bone area in WT but not in KO femurs. PTH increased the bone formation rate and percent osteoblast surface to the same extent in femurs of WT and KO mice but increased osteoclast parameters and calvarial porosity to a greater extent in KO mice. PTH increased serum osteocalcin levels to the same extent in WT and KO mice. PTH-induced osteoclast formation was 2-fold greater in bone marrow cultures from KO mice. Collectively, our data suggest that the CREM deficiency in mice alters the response of bone to intermittent PTH treatment such that osteoclastogenesis is increased. Crem gene may specify the anabolic response to intermittent PTH treatment by restraining PTH-induced osteoclastogenesis.