Understanding the skeleton in Down Syndrome Grant uri icon


  • This new R01 application entitled “Understanding bone mass in Down Syndrome” is focused on determining the cellular mechanism for the low bone turnover we have identified in people and mice with Down Syndrome (DS), and on characterizing fracture healing responses in different DS mouse models to gain insight into how to better target fracture healing in the DS population with increased propensity to fracture. This proposal will determine the contribution of Regulator of calcineurin 1 (RCAN1) that impacts both NF-κB activity in osteoclasts and Wnt signaling in osteoblasts/osteocytes to the inherently low bone mineral density (BMD) in DS. The proposed experiments will also determine the impact of cessation of the current clinical bone anabolic interventions in the setting of DS as well as define DS fracture healing. Aim 1 will elucidate the pathways through which RCAN1 controls osteoclast and osteoblast differentiation and function. Aim 2 will provide the first direct evidence of fracture healing and repair in the context of low bone accrual and DS. Aim 3 will determine the effects of discontinuation of current pharmaceutical anabolic therapies (anti-sclerostin antibody and intermittent PTH) on bone mass accrual in three preclinical mouse models of DS. The successful completion of this study will lead to a paradigm shift in our understanding of the DS bone phenotype and a new landscape of high-quality research that will provide clarification of the mechanisms that contribute to the low bone mass in DS and more importantly, provide the basis for new directions for the treatment of the fractures and profound osteopenia that affects this population.

date/time interval

  • 2021 - 2026