Bone Rep. 2022 Oct 19;17:101629. doi: 10.1016/j.bonr.2022.101629. eCollection 2022 Dec.
Compromises to collagen and mineral lead to a decrease in whole bone quantity and quality in a variety of systemic diseases, yet, clinically, disease manifestations differ between craniofacial and long bones. Collagen alterations can occur through post-translational modification via lysyl oxidase (LOX), which catalyzes enzymatic collagen cross-link formation, as well as through non-enzymatic advanced glycation end products (AGEs) such as pentosidine and carboxymethyl-lysine (CML). Characterization of the cross-links and AGEs, and comparison of the mineral and collagen modifications in craniofacial and long bones represent a critical gap in knowledge. However, alterations to either the mineral or collagen in bone may contribute to disease progression and, subsequently, the anatomical site dependence of a variety of diseases. Therefore, we hypothesized that collagen cross-links and AGEs differ between craniofacial and long bones and that altered collagen cross-linking reduces mineral quality in an anatomic location dependent. To study the effects of cross-link inhibition on mineralization between anatomical sites, beta-aminoproprionitrile (BAPN) was administered to rapidly growing, 5-8 week-old male mice. BAPN is a dose-dependent inhibitor of LOX that pharmacologically alters enzymatic cross-link formation. Long bones (femora) and craniofacial bones (mandibles) were compared for mineral quantity and quality, collagen cross-link and AGE profiles, and tissue level mechanics, as well as the response to altered cross-links via BAPN. A highly sensitive liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (LC-MS) method was developed which allowed for quantification of site-dependent accumulation of the advanced glycation end-product, carboxymethyl-lysine (CML). CML was ∼8.3× higher in the mandible than the femur. The mandible had significantly higher collagen maturation, mineral crystallinity, and Young’s modulus, but lower carbonation, than the femur. BAPN also had anatomic specific effects, leading to significant decreases in mature cross-links in the mandible, and an increase in mineral carbonation in the femur. This differential response of both the mineral and collagen composition to BAPN between the mandible and femur highlights the need to further understand how inherent compositional differences in collagen and mineral contribute to anatomic-site specific manifestations of disease in both craniofacial and long bones.