Immunohistochemical localization of RANK, RANKL and OPG in healthy and arthritic canine elbow joints

Spahni, Andrea I; Schawalder, Peter; Rothen-Rutishauser, Barbara; Bosshardt, Dieter D; Lang, Niklaus; Stoffel, Michael Hubert (2009). Immunohistochemical localization of RANK, RANKL and OPG in healthy and arthritic canine elbow joints. Veterinary surgery, 38(6), pp. 780-786. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell 10.1111/j.1532-950X.2009.00566.x

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OBJECTIVE: To determine if the receptor activator of nuclear factor-kappaB-receptor activator of nuclear factor-kappaB ligand-osteoprotegerin (RANK-RANKL-OPG) system is active in bone remodeling in dogs and, if so, whether differences in expression of these mediators occur in healthy and arthritic joints. STUDY DESIGN: Experimental study. SAMPLE POPULATION: Fragmented processus coronoidei (n=20) were surgically removed from dogs with elbow arthritis and 5 corresponding healthy samples from dogs euthanatized for reasons other than elbow joint disease. METHODS: Bright-field immunohistochemistry and high-resolution fluorescence microscopy were used to investigate the distribution of RANK, RANKL, and OPG in healthy and arthritic joints. RESULTS: All 3 molecules were identified by immunostaining of canine bone tissue. In elbow dysplasia, the number of RANK-positive osteoclasts was increased. In their vicinity, cells expressing RANKL, a mediator of osteoclast activation, were abundant whereas the number of osteoblasts having the potential to limit osteoclastogenesis and bone resorption via OPG was few. CONCLUSIONS: The RANK-RANKL-OPG system is active in bone remodeling in dogs. In elbow dysplasia, a surplus of molecules promoting osteoclastogenesis was evident and is indicative of an imbalance between the mediators regulating bone resorption and bone formation. Both OPG and neutralizing antibodies against RANKL have the potential to counterbalance bone resorption. CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Therapeutic use of neutralizing antibodies against RANKL to inhibit osteoclast activation warrants further investigation.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH) > Veterinary Anatomy
04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > BioMedical Research (DBMR) > Forschungsbereich Mu50 > Forschungsgruppe Pneumologie (Erwachsene)
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine (DKV) > Small Animal Clinic
04 Faculty of Medicine > School of Dental Medicine > Department of Oral Surgery and Stomatology

UniBE Contributor:

Schawalder, Peter, Rothen-Rutishauser, Barbara, Bosshardt, Dieter, Stoffel, Michael Hubert


500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
600 Technology > 630 Agriculture








Eveline Carmen Schuler

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 15:10

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:21

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URI: (FactScience: 195375)

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