J Dent 2013 Mar 23;41(3):258-64. Epub 2012 Nov 23.
Queen Mary, University of London, Barts & The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Institute of Dentistry, Turner Street, London E1 2AD, United Kingdom.
Objectives: Limb and mandibular alveolar bone of the mandible are susceptible to disuse osteopenia, whilst skull and mandibular basal bone appear to resist excessive generalised bone loss. We wanted to compare the site-specific transcriptome of anatomically and functionally distinct bones to confirm the composite nature of the mandible at the molecular level.
Methods: Gene expression profiles were obtained for the mandible, ulna, and calvaria of adult male rats using Affymetrix Rat Genome 230 2.0 GeneChips. Ingenuity Pathways Assist generated association maps, and RGD database software identified site-specific pathways.
Results: The majority of expressed transcripts (84%) are common to all three sites. The mandible expressed 873 transcripts in common with ulna but not calvaria, and 1014 transcripts in common with calvaria but not ulna. Transcripts in these groups were excluded if they showed significant differential expression (>2-fold) and the remaining mapped genes were filtered for those related to modulation of gene transcription. Analysis of these genes revealed common pathways shared by the mandible and ulna, or mandible and calvaria, which were not shared by the calvaria and ulna.
Conclusions: There were relatively few differences in the expression of genes responsible for the bone formation process per se in different functional skeletal sites. Differential transcription factor expression suggests that it is the regulation of bone formation and not the mechanism of bone formation itself that differs between the skeletal sites.
Clinical Significance: The mandible has areas both prone to, and resistant to, resorption whilst skull and limb bone differ in their susceptibilities to osteopenia. This report reveals that the mandible shares some genetic pathways in common with calvaria and others in common with ulna. Study of these pathways could identify novel treatment strategies for bone preservation.