β-Catenin–dependent Wnt signaling controls numerous aspects of skeletal development and postnatal bone repair. Currently available transgenic Wnt reporter mice allow for visualization of global canonical Wnt signaling activity within skeletal tissues, without delineation of cell type. This is particularly important in a bone repair context, in which the inflammatory phase can obscure the visualization of mesenchymal cell types of interest. To tackle the issue of tissue-specific Wnt signaling, we have generated and characterized a transgenic mouse strain [termed paired related homeobox 1 (Prx1)–Wnt–green fluorescent protein (GFP), by crossing a previously validated Prx1-Cre strain with a nuclear fluorescent reporter driven by T-cell factor/lymphoid enhancer factor activity (Rosa26-Tcf/Lef-LSL-H2B-GFP)]. Prx1-Wnt-GFP animals were subject to three models of long bone and membranous bone repair (displaced forelimb fracture, tibial cortical defect, and frontal bone defect). Results showed that, irrespective of bone type, locoregional mesenchymal cell activation of Wnt signaling occurs in a defined temporospatial pattern among Prx1-Wnt-GFP mice. In summary, Prx1-Wnt-GFP reporter animals allow for improved visualization, spatial discrimination, and facile quantification of Wnt-activated mesenchymal cells within models of adult bone repair.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine