Genetic background modifies the effects of type 2 cannabinoid receptor deficiency on bone mass and bone turnover
Idris, Aymen I.
Ralston, Stuart H.
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Cannabinoid receptors and their ligands play significant roles in regulating bone metabolism. Previous studies of type 1 cannabinoid receptor-deficient mice have shown that genetic background influences the skeletal phenotype. Here, we investigated the effects of genetic background on the skeletal phenotype of mice with type 2 cannabinoid receptor deficiency (Cnr2-/-). We studied Cnr2-/- mice on a CD1 background and compared the findings with those previously reported in Cnr2-/- C57BL/6 mice. Young female Cnr2-/- CD1 mice had low bone turnover and high trabecular bone mass compared with wild-type (WT), contrasting with the situation in Cnr2-/- C57BL/6 mice where trabecular bone mass has been reported to be similar to WT. The Cnr2-/- CD1 mice lost more trabecular bone at the tibia with age than WT due to reduced bone formation, and at 12 months there was no difference in trabecular bone volume between genotypes. This differs from the phenotype previously reported in C57BL/6 Cnr2-/- mice, where bone turnover is increased and bone mass reduced with age. There were no substantial differences in skeletal phenotype between Cnr2-/- and WT in male mice. Cortical bone phenotype was similar in Cnr2-/- and WT mice of both genders. Deficiency of Cnr2 has site- and gender-specific effects on the skeleton, mainly affecting trabecular bone, which are influenced by genetic differences between mouse strains. Further evaluation of the pathways responsible might yield new insights into the mechanisms by which cannabinoid receptors regulate bone metabolism.