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Osteopetrosis is a heterogeneous group of rare hereditary diseases characterized by increased bone mass of poor quality. Autosomal-dominant osteopetrosis type II (ADOII) is most often caused by mutation of the CLCN7 gene leading to impaired bone resorption. Autosomal recessive osteopetrosis (ARO) is a more severe form and is frequently accompanied by additional morbidities. We report an adult male presenting with classical clinical and radiological features of ADOII. Genetic analyses showed no amino-acid-converting mutation in CLCN7 but an apparent haploinsufficiency and suppression of CLCN7 mRNA levels in peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Next generation sequencing revealed low-frequency intronic homozygous variations in CLCN7, suggesting recessive inheritance. In silico analysis of an intronic duplication c.595-120_595-86dup revealed additional binding sites for Serine- and Arginine-rich Splicing Factors (SRSF), which is predicted to impair CLCN7 expression. Quantitative backscattered electron imaging and histomorphometric analyses revealed bone tissue and material abnormalities. Giant osteoclasts were present and additionally to lamellar bone, and abundant woven bone and mineralized cartilage were observed, together with increased frequency and thickness of cement lines. Bone mineralization density distribution (BMDD) analysis revealed markedly increased average mineral content of the dense bone (CaMean T-score + 10.1) and frequency of bone with highest mineral content (CaHigh T-score + 19.6), suggesting continued mineral accumulation and lack of bone remodelling. Osteocyte lacunae sections (OLS) characteristics were unremarkable except for an unusually circular shape. Together, our findings suggest that the reduced expression of CLCN7 mRNA in osteoclasts, and possibly also osteocytes, causes poorly remodelled bone with abnormal bone matrix with high mineral content. This together with the lack of adequate bone repair mechanisms makes the material brittle and prone to fracture. While the skeletal phenotype and medical history were suggestive of ADOII, genetic analysis revealed that this is a possible mild case of ARO due to deep intronic mutation. © 2022. The Author(s).


Jochen G Hofstaetter, Gerald J Atkins, Hajime Kato, Masakazu Kogawa, Stéphane Blouin, Barbara M Misof, Paul Roschger, Andreas Evdokiou, Dongqing Yang, Lucian B Solomon, David M Findlay, Nobuaki Ito. A Mild Case of Autosomal Recessive Osteopetrosis Masquerading as the Dominant Form Involving Homozygous Deep Intronic Variations in the CLCN7 Gene. Calcified tissue international. 2022 Oct;111(4):430-444

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PMID: 35618777

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