Department of Orthopaedics, School of Medicine, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia.
Conditional deletion of the transcription factor Runt-related transcription factor 1 (Runx1) in myeloid osteoclast precursors promotes osteoclastogenesis and subsequent bone loss. This study posits whether Runx1 regulates clastic cell-mediated bone and cartilage resorption in the fracture callus. We first generated mice, in which Runx1 was conditionally abrogated in osteoclast precursors (LysM-Cre;Runx1 ; Runx1 cKO). Runx1 cKO and control mice were then subjected to experimental mid-diaphyseal femoral fractures. Our study found differential resorption of bony and calcified cartilage callus matrix by osteoclasts and chondroclasts within Runx1 cKO calluses, with increased early bony callus resorption and delayed calcified cartilage resorption. There was an increased number of osteoclasts and chondroclasts in the chondro-osseous junction of Runx1 cKO calluses starting at day 11 post-fracture, with minimal woven bone occupying the callus at day 18 post-fracture. LysM-Cre;Runx1 mutant mice had increased bone compliance at day 28, but their strength and work to failure were comparable with controls. Taken together, these results indicate that Runx1 is a critical transcription factor in controlling osteoclastogenesis that negatively regulates bone and cartilage resorption in the fracture callus.