Osteoblast-specific targeting of soluble colony-stimulating factor-1 increases cortical bone thickness in mice

S. L. Abboud, N. Ghosh-Choudhury, C. Liu, V. Shen, K. Woodruff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The soluble and membrane-bound forms of CSF-1 are synthesized by osteoblasts and stromal cells in the bone microenvironment. Transgenic mice, generated to selectively express sCSF-1 in bone, showed increased cortical thickness in the femoral diaphysis caused by new bone formation along the endosteal surface. The ability of sCSF-1 to enhance bone cell activity in vivo is potentially relevant for increasing cortical bone in a variety of disorders. Introduction: The soluble form of colony-stimulating factor-1 (sCSF-1) and the membrane-bound form of CSF-1 (mCSF-1) have been shown to support osteoclastogenesis in vitro; however, the effect of each peptide on bone remodeling in vivo is unclear. To determine the effect of sCSF-1, selectively expressed in bone, the skeletal phenotype of transgenic mice harboring the human sCSF-1 cDNA under the control of the osteocalcin promoter was assessed. Methods: At 5 and 14 weeks, mice were analyzed for CSF-1 protein levels, weighed, and X-rayed, and femurs were removed for peripheral quantitative computed tomography, histology, and histomorphometry. Results: High levels of human sCSF-1 were detected in bone extracts and, to a lesser extent, in plasma. Adult transgenic mice showed normal body weight and increased circulating monocytic cells. At 5 weeks, the femoral diaphysis was similar in CSF-1T and wt/wt littermates. However, by 14 weeks, the femoral diaphysis in CSF-1T mice showed increased cortical thickness and bone mineral density. In contrast to the diaphysis, the femoral metaphysis of CSF-1T mice showed normal cancellous bone comparable with wt/wt littermates at each time point. Histological sections demonstrated increased woven bone along the endosteal surface of the diaphysis and intracortical remodeling. Fluorochrome-labeling analysis confirmed endocortical bone formation in CSF-1T, with a 3.1-fold increase in the percentage of double-labeled surfaces and a 3.6-fold increase in the bone formation rate compared with wt/wt mice. Although remodeling resulted in a slightly porous cortex, sCSF-1 preferentially stimulated endocortical bone formation, leading to increased cortical thickness. Conclusions: These findings indicate that sCSF-1 is a key determinant of bone cell activity in the corticoendosteal envelope.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1386-1394
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Bone and Mineral Research
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2003


  • Bone remodeling
  • Macrophage colony-stimulating factor
  • Osteoblasts
  • Osteoclasts
  • Transgenic mice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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