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Osteoblasts are a new target for prolactin: analysis of bone formation in prolactin receptor knockout mice

Osteoblasts are a new target for prolactin: analysis of bone formation in prolactin receptor knockout mice

Endocrinology 140(1): 96-105

Bone development is a multistep process that includes patterning of skeletal elements, commitment of hematopoietic and/or mesenchymental cells to chondrogenic and osteogenic lineages, and further differentiation into three specialized cell types: chondrocytes in cartilage and osteoblasts and osteoclasts in bone. Although PRL has a multitude of biological actions in addition to its role in the mammary gland, very little is known about its effect on bone. Mice carrying a germline null mutation for the PRL receptor gene have been produced in our laboratory and used to study the role of PRL in bone formation. In -/- embryos, we observed an alteration in bone development of calvaria. In adults, histomorphometric analysis showed that the absence of PRL receptors leads to a decrease in bone formation rate using double calcein labeling and a reduction of bone mineral density, measured by dual energy x-ray absorptiometry. In addition, serum estradiol, progesterone, testosterone, and PTH levels were analyzed. We also established that osteoblasts, but not osteoclasts, express PRL receptors. This suggests that an effect of PRL on osteoblasts could be required for normal bone formation and maintenance of bone mass. Thus, the PRL receptor knockout mouse model provides a new tool to investigate the involvement of PRL in bone metabolism.

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Accession: 011100739

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PMID: 9886812

DOI: 10.1210/endo.140.1.6436

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