, Volume 90, Issue 5, pp 420-428
Date: 24 Feb 2012

Two Molecular Weight Species of Thrombospondin-2 Are Present in Bone and Differentially Modulated in Fractured and Nonfractured Tibiae in a Murine Model of Bone Healing

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We report two immuoreactive species of thrombospondin-2 (TSP2), sized approximately 200 and 125 kDa, in the long bones of growing, but not skeletally mature, mice. In vitro osteoblasts secrete a 200-kDa species into the culture medium as early as day 3, and it appears in the cell-matrix layer by day 7. A 125-kDa species appears in the cell-matrix layer in parallel with mineralization; it is not detected in cell-conditioned medium. Unilateral tibial fracture induced a time-dependent upregulation of the 200-kDa species at the site of trauma. By contrast, relative levels of the 125-kDa species at the fracture site were lower than in bones from naive control animals. In the contralateral untouched control tibia, the 200-kDa species was rapidly and substantially reduced compared to bone harvested from naive control mice. Levels of the 125-kDa species in the untouched tibia declined gradually with time postfracture. TSP2 gene expression in uninjured control bone decreased modestly by 21 days postfracture. On the day of fracture, the osteoblast differentiation potential of MSCs harvested from uninjured bones decreased compared to those harvested from naive control animals. The presence of two isoforms suggests that TSP2 may undergo posttranscriptional or posttranslational processing in skeletal tissue. Our data also suggest that, in the context of trauma, the two TSP2 isforms are differentially modulated at injured and noninjured skeletal sites in an animal undergoing fracture healing.