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Research Core

Caren Gundberg, PhD


Caren Gundberg, Professor, Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation, directs the Research Core of the YC-XLH. The primary research aims of the Gundberg lab are investigations into the function of important matrix proteins in bone and on development of serum markers for the evaluation of osteoporosis and metabolic bone disease. She has focused primarily on osteocalcin, a vitamin K-dependent protein synthesized only in bone. In clinical studies, she has conducted large population studies relating levels of bone turnover markers to race, gender, normal growth, development, and aging and to a variety of metabolic bone diseases including osteoporosis. Currently, her studies include analysis of the phenotypes of several transgenic mice with targeted deletions of osteocalcin and the SIBLING proteins, osteopontin and bone sialoprotein. Single and double knock-out mice have been developed in order to determine the role of these proteins in skeletal modeling and remodeling.

The Research Core provides YC-XLH members with histological preparation and analysis of mouse tissue for basic research projects and biochemical measurements of bone and mineral metabolism to facilitate basic and translational research projects.

Specific services include:

  • Fixation, embedding, sectioning, and slide preparation of undecalcified skeletal tissue.
  • Specialized staining of bone from animal models, including toluidine blue, von Kossa, Safronin O, alkaline phosphatase as well as specific immunohistochemical localizations, and TUNEL assays.
  • Measurement and interpretation of standard static and dynamic parameters of bone histomorphometrical analysis.
  • Assessment of mineralizing cells in culture. Analyses will include both alizarin red and von Kossa staining of mineralizing cultures as well as direct measurement of calcium and phosphorus content, alkaline phosphatase and osteocalcin.
  • Measurement of FGF23 and calciotropic hormones in serum from human and animal studies.
  • Measurement of biochemical markers of bone turnover in serum and urine collected from human and animal studies.