Loss of bone strength in HLA-B27 transgenic rats is characterized by a high bone turnover and is mainly osteoclast-driven

Martina Rauner, Sylvia Thiele, Ingrid Fert, Luiza M. Araujo, Gerlinde Layh-Schmitt, Robert A. Colbert, Christine Hofbauer, Ricardo Bernhardt, Alexander Bürki, Jakob Schwiedrzik, Philippe K. Zysset, Peter Pietschmann, Joel D. Taurog, Maxime Breban, Lorenz C. Hofbauer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Objective: Although osteopenia is frequent in spondyloarthritis (SpA), the underlying cellular mechanisms and association with other symptoms are poorly understood. This study aimed to characterize bone loss during disease progression, determine cellular alterations, and assess the contribution of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) to bone loss in HLA-B27 transgenic rats. Methods: Bones of 2-, 6-, and 12-month-old non-transgenic, disease-free HLA-B7 and disease-associated HLA-B27 transgenic rats were examined using peripheral quantitative computed tomography, μCT, and nanoindentation. Cellular characteristics were determined by histomorphometry and ex vivo cultures. The impact of IBD was determined using [21-3 x 283-2]F1 rats, which develop arthritis and spondylitis, but not IBD. Results: HLA-B27 transgenic rats continuously lost bone mass with increasing age and had impaired bone material properties, leading to a 3-fold decrease in bone strength at 12months of age. Bone turnover was increased in HLA-B27 transgenic rats, as evidenced by a 3-fold increase in bone formation and a 6-fold increase in bone resorption parameters. Enhanced osteoclastic markers were associated with a larger number of precursors in the bone marrow and a stronger osteoclastogenic response to RANKL or TNFα. Further, IBD-free [21-3 x 283-2]F1 rats also displayed decreased total and trabecular bone density. Conclusions: HLA-B27 transgenic rats lose an increasing amount of bone density and strength with progressing age, which is primarily mediated via increased bone remodeling in favor of bone resorption. Moreover, IBD and bone loss seem to be independent features of SpA in HLA-B27 transgenic rats.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)183-191
Number of pages9
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015


  • Bone loss
  • Bone remodeling
  • HLA-B27 transgenic rat
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Spondyloarthritis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Histology


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