• Authors: Maurizi, A., Capulli, M., Curle, A., Patel, R., Ucci, A., Cortes, J. A., Oxford, H., Lamande, S. R., Bateman, J. F., Rucci, N., Teti, A.
  • Year: 2019
  • Journal: Bone Res 7 17
  • Applications: in vivo / siRNA / in vivo-jetPEI


The siRNA had modified 3′dAdT overhangs to enhance the conjugation with the in vivo-jetPEI® transfection reagent used as vehicle. The formulation was done as suggested by the manufacturer. Mice were treated with 4 mg·kg−1 of control scrambled siRNA (SCR) or Clcn7 G213R-siRNA (siRNA) intraperitoneally or subcutaneously, 3 times a week for 4 or 12 weeks. All treatments were done in male mice.


Autosomal dominant osteopetrosis type 2 (ADO2) is a high-density brittle bone disease characterized by bone pain, multiple fractures and skeletal-related events, including nerve compression syndrome and hematological failure. We demonstrated that in mice carrying the heterozygous Clcn7 (G213R) mutation, whose human mutant homolog CLCN7 (G215R) affects patients, the clinical impacts of ADO2 extend beyond the skeleton, affecting several other organs. The hallmark of the extra-skeletal alterations is a consistent perivascular fibrosis, associated with high numbers of macrophages and lymphoid infiltrates. Fragmented clinical information in a small cohort of patients confirms extra-skeletal alterations consistent with a systemic disease, in line with the observation that the CLCN7 gene is expressed in many organs. ADO2 mice also show anxiety and depression and their brains exhibit not only perivascular fibrosis but also beta-amyloid accumulation and astrogliosis, suggesting the involvement of the nervous system in the pathogenesis of the ADO2 extra-skeletal alterations. Extra-skeletal organs share a similar cellular pathology, confirmed also in vitro in bone marrow mononuclear cells and osteoclasts, characterized by an impairment of the exit pathway of the Clcn7 protein product, ClC7, through the Golgi, with consequent reduced ClC7 expression in late endosomes and lysosomes, associated with high vesicular pH and accumulation of autophagosome markers. Finally, an experimental siRNA therapy, previously proven to counteract the bone phenotype, also improves the extra-skeletal alterations. These results could have important clinical implications, supporting the notion that a systematic evaluation of ADO2 patients for extra-skeletal symptoms could help improve their diagnosis, clinical management, and therapeutic options.