Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms of Delayed Fracture Healing in Mmp10 (Stromelysin 2) Knockout Mice
The remodeling of the extracellular matrix is a central function in endochondral ossification and bone homeostasis. During secondary fracture healing, vascular invasion and bone growth requires the removal of the cartilage intermediate and the coordinate action of the collagenase matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-13, produced by hypertrophic chondrocytes, and the gelatinase MMP-9, produced by cells of hematopoietic lineage. Interfering with these MMP activities results in impaired fracture healing characterized by cartilage accumulation and delayed vascularization. MMP-10, Stromelysin 2, a matrix metalloproteinase with high homology to MMP-3 (Stromelysin 1), presents a wide range of putative substrates identified in vitro, but its targets and functions in vivo and especially during fracture healing and bone homeostasis are not well defined. Here, we investigated the role of MMP-10 through bone regeneration in C57BL/6 mice. During secondary fracture healing, MMP-10 is expressed by hematopoietic cells and its maximum expression peak is associated with cartilage resorption at 14 days post fracture (dpf). In accordance with this expression pattern, when Mmp10 is globally silenced, we observed an impaired fracture-healing phenotype at 14 dpf, characterized by delayed cartilage resorption and TRAP-positive cell accumulation. This phenotype can be rescued by a non-competitive transplant of wild-type bone marrow, indicating that MMP-10 functions are required only in cells of hematopoietic linage. In addition, we found that this phenotype is a consequence of reduced gelatinase activity and the lack of proMMP-9 processing in macrophages. Our data provide evidence of the in vivo function of MMP-10 during endochondral ossification and defines the macrophages as the lead cell population in cartilage removal and vascular invasion. (c) 2021 The Authors. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR).