Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract Osteopetrosis in laboratory animals is a metabolic bone disease characterized by increased skeletal mass. It is inherited as an autosomal recessive and results from a defect in the development and/or function of osteoclasts. We studied two enzymes essential for bone resorption, carbonic anhydrase II isoenzyme (CA II) and H+-ATPase, in osteoclasts from four osteopetrotic mutations in the rat; namely incisors-absent (ia), osteopetrosis (op), toothless (tl), and microphthalmia (mib), to test the hypothesis that reduced bone resorption in one or more of these mutations results from defects in the synthesis or activity of one of these enzymes. CA II was present in most osteoclasts from normal, tl, op, and mib littermates and was homogeneously distributed in cytoplasm. CA II staining in ia osteoclasts was more variable and less intense than in the other mutations. H+-ATPase was also present in osteoclasts from normal animals and mutants and immunostaining showed clear polarization to the ruffled border region in all normal rats and mutants except ia, which showed diffuse distribution of staining in the cytoplasm. H+-ATPase activity (proton transport) in a related tissue, kidney, was normal in tl and ia rats but increased in op and mib rats compared to their normal littermates. These results suggest that the osteoclasts in osteopetrotic rat mutations are not abnormal with respect to the distribution of CA II and H+-ATPase and that the function of these enzymes in the skeleton, while likely normal, needs to be tested directly in bone.
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