Periostin-like-factor and Periostin in an animal model of work-related musculoskeletal disorder

Bone. 2009 Mar;44(3):502-12. doi: 10.1016/j.bone.2008.11.012. Epub 2008 Nov 27.


Work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs), also known as overuse injuries, account for a substantial proportion of work injuries and workers' compensation claims in the United States. However, the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying WMSDs are not well understood, especially the early events in their development. In this study we used an animal model of upper extremity WMSD, in which rats perform a voluntary repetitive reaching and pulling task for a food reward. This innovative model provides us an opportunity to investigate the role of molecules which may be used either as markers of early diagnosis of these disorders, and/or could be targeted for therapeutic purposes in the future. Periostin-like-factor (PLF), and Periostin were examined in this study. Both belong to a family of vitamin K-dependent gamma carboxylated proteins characterized by the presence of conserved Fasciclin domains and not detected in adult tissues except under conditions of chronic overload, injury, stress or pathology. The spatial and temporal pattern of PLF and Periostin localization was examined by immunohistochemistry and western blot analysis in the radius and ulna of animals performing a high repetition, high force task for up to 12 weeks and in controls. We found that PLF was present primarily in the cellular periosteum, articular cartilage, osteoblasts, osteocytes and osteoclasts at weeks 3 and 6 in all distal bone sites examined. This increase coincided with a transient increase in serum osteocalcin in week 6, indicative of adaptive bone formation at this time point. PLF immunoexpression decreased in the distal periosteum and metaphysis by week 12, coincided temporally with an increase in serum Trap5b, thinning of the growth plate and reduced cortical thickness. In contrast to PLF, once Periostin was induced by task performance, it continued to be present at a uniformly high level between 3 and 12 weeks in the trabeculae, fibrous and cellular periosteum, osteoblasts and osteocytes. In general, the data suggest that PLF is located in tissues during the early adaptive stage of remodeling but not during the pathological phase and therefore might be a marker of early adaptive remodeling.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / physiology
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / metabolism*
  • Cumulative Trauma Disorders* / metabolism
  • Cumulative Trauma Disorders* / pathology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Muscle Proteins / metabolism*
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / metabolism*
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / pathology
  • Periosteum / cytology
  • Periosteum / metabolism
  • Physical Exertion
  • Radius / cytology
  • Radius / metabolism
  • Random Allocation
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Stress, Mechanical
  • Ulna / cytology
  • Ulna / metabolism


  • Biomarkers
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • Muscle Proteins
  • Postn protein, rat
  • periostin-like factor, rat