Osteopetrosis describes a group of skeletal metabolic diseases of heterogeneous etiology and varied severity that produces a generalized accumulation of skeletal mass, the result of reduced bone resorption. Inherited in a variety of species including humans, the most severe forms are lethal. Among common features are progressive blindness and deafness of controversial etiologies for which there are no universally effective treatments. We have studied the auditory responsiveness and auditory ossicle quantitative histomorphology and temporal bone vasculature in the toothless (tl) rat, a lethal osteopetrotic mutation with few osteoclasts, very low bone turnover, and limited angiogenesis in the axial skeleton. Compared with normal littermates, 3-week-old mutants showed significantly reduced auditory responsiveness, a hearing loss due to abnormalities in both form and tissue composition of the stapes, and little capillary sprouting in the vascular bed of the temporal bone. Treatment of mutants with colony-stimulating factor 1 (CSF-1), known to greatly reduce sclerosis in the axial skeleton, significantly improved hearing, stapedial form and tissue composition, and angiogenesis in the temporal bone. In normal rats, the stapes consisted of 89.3% bone, 9.1% mineralized cartilage, and 0.8% porosity. In osteopetrotic rats, the stapes consisted of 48.3% bone, 35.9% mineralized cartilage, and 15.9% porosity, while after CSF-1 treatment, the bone content increased to 55.2%, cartilage was decreased to 21.7%, and porosity increased to 23.0%, respectively. This is the first demonstration of an auditory abnormality in an osteopetrotic animal mutation and shows that the hearing loss in tl rats can be significantly improved following treatment with CSF-1.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine