Objective: Bone formation and destruction are usually tightly linked; however, in disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, periodontal disease, and osteoporosis, elevated osteoclast activity leads to bone destruction. Osteoclast formation and activation are controlled by many signaling pathways, including p38 MAPK. Dual-specificity phosphatase 1 (DUSP-1) is a factor involved in the negative regulation of p38 MAPK. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of Dusp1 deficiency on bone destruction.
Methods: Penetrance, onset, and severity of collagen-induced arthritis were recorded in DUSP-1+/+ and DUSP-1-/- mice. Bone destruction was assessed by histologic and micro-computed tomographic examination of the joints. The in vitro formation and activation of osteoclasts from DUSP-1+/+ and DUSP-1-/- precursors were assessed in the absence or presence of tumor necrosis factor (TNF).
Results: The formation and activation of osteoclasts in vitro in the presence of TNF were enhanced by Dusp1 gene disruption. DUSP-1-/- mice exhibited higher penetrance, earlier onset, and increased severity of experimental arthritis, accompanied by greater numbers of osteoclasts in inflamed joints and more extensive loss of bone. A DUSP-1-/- mouse colony of mixed genetic background also demonstrated striking spontaneous osteolytic destruction of distal phalanges.
Conclusion: DUSP-1 is a critical regulator of osteoclast activity and limits bone destruction in an experimental model of rheumatoid arthritis. Defects in the expression or activity of DUSP1 in humans may correlate with a propensity to develop osteolytic lesions in arthritis.
Copyright © 2012 by the American College of Rheumatology.