We have preliminary data showing that in addition to its role in promoting osteoblast (OB) function and bone formation, fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2) is a negative regulator of mesenchymal stem cell differentiation into mature adipocytes (AD). We hypothesize that loss of FGF2 expression results in a shift of stromal mesenchymal progenitors from OB differentiation towards adipogenesis. The proposed studies will increase our understanding of the molecular mechanism (s) by which FGF2 affects aging bone as well as the role of FGF2 in the osteogenic and antiadipogenic effects of PTH in bone.
Specific Aim 1 : Determine how FGF2 modulates the adipocyte phenotype using Fgf2+/+ and Fgf2-/- mice in Col3.6-GFP or aP2-GFP genetic backgrounds. We will test the hypothesis that in the absence of FGF2, marrow progenitors have a reduced ability to choose the osteogenic pathway. To assess the age-dependence of the phenotype, we will examine young adult mice at 6-8 weeks of age and compare them to 4-5 month old adult mice that already exhibit reduced bone mass.
Aim 1 A: i) determine the temporal and quantitative onset of GFP expression in primary bone marrow stromal cultures (BMSC) from Fgf2+/+ and Fgf2-/- mice harboring transgene reporters for the OB (Col3.6-GFP) or AD (aP2-GFP or -Cyan) lineage;ii) characterize the AD and OB potential of GFP positive and GFP negative cells isolated via FACS analysis and then cultured in the absence and presence of exogenous FGF2 and PTH;and iii) examine changes in gene and protein expression.
Aim 1 B: Define the function of FGF2 during osteogenic versus adipogenic differentiation in vivo. Using mice developed in Aim 1A, we will i) assess whether there is a correlation of changes in bone mineral density and whole body and bone fat content. ii) examine the expression of key adipogenic and osteoblast signaling molecules from whole bones and from freshly isolated marrow;and iii) assess the effects of PTH, administered to mice alone or in combination with FGF2 on adipogenesis in ex vivo BMSC cultures.
Specific AIM 2 : Determine whether FGF2 is a necessary factor for PTH-mediated pro-osteogenic and anti-adipogeneic effect on mesenchymal progenitor cells. We hypothesize that FGF2 inhibits adipogenesis through modulation of Wnt 10b and PPAR( in mesenchymal progenitors. We also hypothesize that in the absence of FGF2, PTH is unable to inhibit mesenchymal progenitor cell differentiation towards adipogenesis and this is mediated through regulation of PPAR( by Runx2 and Wnt 10b downstream effects.
Aim 2 A: Examine the mechanisms by which FGF2 deficiency modulates the development of the OB or AD phenotype. We will determine whether FGF2 modulates Wnt 10b and PPAR(2 activity and what signaling pathways mediate this in CFU-OB and CFU-AD from young and adult mice in vitro.
Aim 2 B: Define the transcriptional mechanisms underlying PPAR( regulation by PTH and FGF2 signaling. We will test the hypothesis that one possible mechanism through which FGF2 and PTH crosstalk may regulate adipogenesis is through Runx2 and Lef-1/(-catenin mediated control of the PPAR(2 promoter.

Public Health Relevance

The Fgf2 null mice have several characteristics of senile osteoporosis. They exhibit decreased bone mass with age, diminished bone formation and remodeling of cancellous bones, decreased osteoblastogenesis as well as osteoclastogenesis in the bone marrow compared with wild type littermates. The novel observation of increased adipogenesis in bone marrow of adult and aged Fgf2-/- associated with progressive osteopenia suggests that the Fgf2-/- mice represents a worthwhile model to study the mechanism of age related bone loss and osteoblast/adipocyte lineage determination. Increased serum FGF2 in response to PTH treatment of osteoporotic patients and impaired bone formation in response to PTH in the Fgf2- /- mice support a role for FGF2 in the pro-osteogenic, anti-adipogenic effects of PTH. Understanding the role of FGF2 in bone and the genes that are differentially regulated to stimulate bone formation and inhibit fat accumulation in bone marrow, may lead to development of useful therapeutic targets for the management of disorders associated with low bone mass.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Research Project (R01)
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Skeletal Biology Development and Disease Study Section (SBDD)
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Williams, John
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University of Connecticut
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Schools of Medicine
United States
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Hurley, Marja M; Adams, Douglas J; Wang, Liping et al. (2016) Accelerated fracture healing in transgenic mice overexpressing an anabolic isoform of fibroblast growth factor 2. J Cell Biochem 117:599-611
Xiao, Liping; Ueno, Daisuke; Catros, Sylvain et al. (2014) Fibroblast growth factor-2 isoform (low molecular weight/18 kDa) overexpression in preosteoblast cells promotes bone regeneration in critical size calvarial defects in male mice. Endocrinology 155:965-74
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Xiao, Liping; Esliger, Alycia; Hurley, Marja M (2013) Nuclear fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2) isoforms inhibit bone marrow stromal cell mineralization through FGF23/FGFR/MAPK in vitro. J Bone Miner Res 28:35-45
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Fei, Yurong; Xiao, Liping; Hurley, Marja M (2011) The impaired bone anabolic effect of PTH in the absence of endogenous FGF2 is partially due to reduced ATF4 expression. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 412:160-4
Fei, Yurong; Xiao, Liping; Doetschman, Thomas et al. (2011) Fibroblast growth factor 2 stimulation of osteoblast differentiation and bone formation is mediated by modulation of the Wnt signaling pathway. J Biol Chem 286:40575-83
Xiao, Liping; Sobue, Takanori; Esliger, Alycia et al. (2010) Disruption of the Fgf2 gene activates the adipogenic and suppresses the osteogenic program in mesenchymal marrow stromal stem cells. Bone 47:360-70

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