Alterations of bone material properties in growing Ifitm5/BRIL p.S42 knock-in mice, a new model for atypical type VI osteogenesis imperfecta

Ghazal Hedjazi, Gali Guterman-Ram, Stéphane Blouin, Victoria Schemenz, Wolfgang Wagermaier, Peter Fratzl, Markus A. Hartmann, Jochen Zwerina, Nadja Fratzl-Zelman, Joan C. Marini

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2 Scopus citations


Introduction: Osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) is a heterogenous group of heritable connective tissue disorders characterized by high bone fragility due to low bone mass and impaired bone material properties. Atypical type VI OI is an extremely rare and severe form of bone dysplasia resulting from a loss-of-function mutation (p.S40L) in IFITM5/BRIL,the causative gene of OI type V and decreased osteoblast secretion of pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF), as in OI type VI. It is not yet known which alterations at the material level might lead to such a severe phenotype. We therefore characterized bone tissue at the micrometer level in a novel heterozygous Ifitm5/BRIL p.S42L knock-in murine model at 4 and 8 weeks of age. Methods: We evaluated in female mice, total body size, femoral and lumbar bone mineral density (BMD) by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. In the femoral bone we examined osteoid deposition by light microscopy, assessed bone histomorphometry and mineralization density distribution by quantitative backscattered electron imaging (qBEI). Osteocyte lacunae were examined by qBEI and the osteocyte lacuno-canalicular network by confocal laser scanning microscopy. Vasculature was examined indirectly by qBEI as 2D porosity in cortex, and as 3D porosity by micro-CT in third trochanter. Collagen orientation was examined by second harmonic generation microscopy. Two-way ANOVA was used to discriminate the effect of age and genotype. Results: Ifitm5/BRIL p.S42L female mice are viable, do not differ in body size, fat and lean mass from wild type (WT) littermates but have lower whole-body, lumbar and femoral BMD and multiple fractures. The average and most frequent calcium concentration, CaMean and CaPeak, increased with age in metaphyseal and cortical bone in both genotypes and were always higher in Ifitm5/BRIL p.S42L than in WT, except CaMean in metaphysis at 4 weeks of age. The fraction of highly mineralized bone area, CaHigh, was also increased in Ifitm5/BRIL p.S42L metaphyseal bone at 8 weeks of age and at both ages in cortical bone. The fraction of lowly mineralized bone area, CaLow, decreased with age and was not higher in Ifitm5/BRIL p.S42L, consistent with lack of hyperosteoidosis on histological sections by visual exam. Osteocyte lacunae density was higher in Ifitm5/BRIL p.S42L than WT, whereas canalicular density was decreased. Indirect measurements of vascularity revealed a higher pore density at 4 weeks in cortical bone of Ifitm5/BRIL p.S42L than in WT and at both ages in the third trochanter. Importantly, the proportion of bone area with disordered collagen fibrils was highly increased in Ifitm5/BRIL p.S42L at both ages. Conclusions: Despite normal skeletal growth and the lack of a collagen gene mutation, the Ifitm5/BRIL p.S42L mouse shows major OI-related bone tissue alterations such as hypermineralization of the matrix and elevated osteocyte porosity. Together with the disordered lacuno-canalicular network and the disordered collagen fibril orientation, these abnormalities likely contribute to overall bone fragility.

Original languageEnglish
Article number116451
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Bone matrix mineralization
  • Bone vascularity
  • Collagen orientation
  • Growing mice
  • Osteocyte canalicular network
  • Osteocyte lacunae
  • Osteogenesis imperfecta

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology
  • Histology


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