Expression Analysis of Susceptibility Genes for Ossification of the Posterior Longitudinal Ligament of the Cervical Spine in Human OPLL-related Tissues and a Spinal Hyperostotic Mouse (ttw/ttw)

Hideaki Nakajima, Shuji Watanabe, Kazuya Honjoh, Atsushi Okawa, Morio Matsumoto, Akihiko Matsumine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

STUDY DESIGN: Immunohistochemical and real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to analyze the expression of five susceptibility genes (RSPO2, HAO1, CCDC91, RHPH9, and STK38L) for human ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligaments (OPLL) identified in a genome-wide association study. SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA: Detailed expression and functional studies for the five susceptibility genes are needed to aid in clarification of the etiology and pathogenesis of OPLL. METHODS: Immunostaining, cell culture, and real-time RT-PCR were performed on ossified ligament samples collected during anterior cervical decompression for symptomatic OPLL (n = 39 patients) and on control non-OPLL samples (n = 8 patients). Immunohistochemical analysis in spinal hyperostotic mice (ttw/ttw) (n = 25) was also performed. The sample sections were stained for RSPO2, HAO1, CCDC91, RHPH9, STK38L, Runx2, Sox9, and CD90. The mRNA expression levels of the five susceptibility genes were also analyzed in cultured human OPLL and non-OPLL cells subjected to cyclic tensile strain. RESULTS: Immunoreactivity for RSPO2 and Sox9 was evident in proliferating chondrocytes in human OPLL tissues and ttw/ttw mice. Application of cyclic tensile strain to cultured human OPLL cells resulted in increases in mRNA levels for RSPO2, HAO1, and CCDC91. However, individual differences in expression in human OPLL-related samples were seen. HAO1-positive cells were detected only in 3- to 6-week-old ttw/ttw mice that did not simultaneously express RSPO2-positive samples. CONCLUSION: Among the five susceptibility genes, RSPO2, HAO1, and CCDC91 might be contributory factors in progression of OPLL. RSPO2 may be involved in endochondral ossification, especially in mixed or continuous type OPLL, HAO1 may be an initiation factor for OPLL that is rarely seen in mature human OPLL samples, and CCDC91 may be associated with progression of ossification caused by mechanical stress. These findings provide important insights into the pathogenesis and therapeutic targets for OPLL.N/A.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E1460-E1468
JournalSpine
Volume45
Issue number22
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Nov 15

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology

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