CD82 is a widely expressed member of the tetraspanin family of transmembrane proteins known to control cell signaling, adhesion, and migration. Tetraspanin CD82 is induced over 9-fold during osteoclast differentiation in vitro; however, its role in bone homeostasis is unknown. A globally deleted CD82 mouse model was used to assess the bone phenotype. Based on microCT and 4-point bending tests, CD82-deficient bones are smaller in diameter and weaker, but display no changes in bone density. Histomorphometry shows a decrease in size, erosion perimeter, and number of osteoclasts in situ, with a corresponding increase in trabecular surface area, specifically in male mice. Male-specific alterations are observed in trabecular structure by microCT and in vitro differentiated osteoclasts are morphologically abnormal. Histomorphometry did not reveal a significant reduction in osteoblast number; however, dynamic labeling reveals a significant decrease in bone growth. Consistent with defects in OB function, OB differentiation and mineralization are defective in vitro, whereas adipogenesis is enhanced. There is a corresponding increase in bone marrow adipocytes in situ. Thus, combined defects in both osteoclasts and osteoblasts can account for the observed bone phenotypes, and suggests a role for CD82 in both bone mesenchyme and myeloid cells.
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