Wnt signaling, a major regulator of bone formation and homeostasis, might be involved in the bone loss of osteoporotic patients and the consequent impaired response to fracture. Therefore we analyzed Wnt-related, osteogenic, and adipogenic genes in bone tissue of elderly postmenopausal women undergoing hip replacement for either femoral fracture or osteoarthritis. Bone specimens derived from the intertrochanteric region of the femurs of 25 women with fracture (F) and 29 with osteoarthritis without fracture (OA) were analyzed. Specific miRNAs were analyzed in bone and in matched blood samples. RUNX2, BGP, and OPG showed lower expression in F than in OA samples, while OSX, OPN, BSP, and RANKL were not different. Inhibitory genes of Wnt pathway were lower in F versus OA. β-Catenin protein levels were higher in F versus OA, whereas its cotranscriptional regulator (Lef1) was lower in F group. miR-204, which targets RUNX2, and miR-130a, which inhibits PPARγ, were lower and higher, respectively, in F versus OA serum samples. The present study showed an inefficient Wnt signal transduction in F group despite higher β-catenin protein levels, consistent with the expected overall postfracture systemic activation towards osteogenesis. This transcriptional inefficiency could contribute to the osteoporotic bone fragility.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)