Mucopolysaccharidosis type I (MPS I) is a lysosomal storage disorder characterized by alpha-L-iduronidase (IDUA) deficiency, an enzyme responsible for glycosaminoglycan degradation. Musculoskeletal impairment is an important component of the morbidity related to the disease, as it has a major impact on patients’ quality of life. To understand how this disease affects bone structure, morphological, biomechanical and histological analyses of femurs from 3- and 6-month-old wild type (Idua +/+) and MPS I knockout mice (Idua -/-) were performed. Femurs from 3-month-old Idua -/- mice were found to be smaller and less resistant to fracture when compared to their age matched controls. In addition, at this age, the femurs presented important alterations in articular cartilage, trabecular bone architecture, and deposition of type I and III collagen. At 6 months of age, femurs from Idua -/- mice were more resistant to fracture than those from Idua +/+. Our results suggest that the abnormalities observed in bone matrix and articular cartilage in 3-month-old Idua -/- animals caused bone tissue to be less flexible and more likely to fracture, whereas in 6-month-old Idua -/- group the ability to withstand more load before fracturing than wild type animals is possibly due to changes in the bone matrix.
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