Loss of the PTH/PTHrP receptor along the osteoblast lineage limits the anabolic response to exercise.
Exercise and physical activity are critical to maintain bone mass and strength throughout life. Both exercise and physical activity subject bone to a unique combination of stimuli in the forms of dynamic loading and a systemic increase in parathyroid hormone (PTH). Although dynamic loading is considered to be the primary osteogenic stimuli, the influence of increasing PTH levels remains unclear. We hypothesize that activation of the PTH/PTH-related peptide type 1 receptor (PPR) along the osteoblast lineage facilitates bone formation and improved mechanical properties in response to exercise. To test this hypothesis, conditional PPR-knockout mice (PPRcKO) were generated in which PPR expression was deleted along the osteoblast lineage under the osterix promoter. At 8-weeks of age, both PPRfl/fl and PPRcKO mice were subjected to treadmill running or sedentary conditions for 5-weeks. Under sedentary conditions, PPRcKO mice displayed significantly less bone mass as well as smaller structural-level strength (yield-load and ultimate load), while tissue level properties were largely unaffected. However, PPRcKO mice exposed to exercise displayed significantly less structural-level and tissue-level mechanical properties when compared to exercised PPRfl/fl mice. Overall, these data demonstrate that PPR expression along the osteoblast lineage is essential for exercise to improve the mechanical properties of cortical bone. Furthermore, the influence of PPR activation on material properties is unique to exercise and not during normal growth and development.