Transient neonatal shoulder paralysis causes early osteoarthritis in a mouse model

Lynn Ann Forrester, Fei Fang, Timothy Jacobsen, Yizhong Hu, Iden Kurtaliaj, Benjamin D. Roye, X. Edward Guo, Nadeen O. Chahine, Stavros Thomopoulos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Neonatal brachial plexus palsy (NBPP) occurs in approximately 1.5 of every 1,000 live births. The majority of children with NBPP recover function of the shoulder. However, the long-term risk of osteoarthritis (OA) in this population is unknown. The purpose of this study was to investigate the development of OA in a mouse model of transient neonatal shoulder paralysis. Neonatal mice were injected twice per week for 4 weeks with saline in the right supraspinatus muscle (Saline, control) and botulinum toxin A (BtxA, transient paralysis) in the left supraspinatus muscle, and then allowed to recover for 20 or 36 weeks. Control mice received no injections, and all mice were sacrificed at 24 or 40 weeks. BtxA mice exhibited abnormalities in gait compared to controls through 10 weeks of age, but these differences did not persist into adulthood. BtxA shoulders had decreased bone volume (−9%) and abnormal trabecular microstructure compared to controls. Histomorphometry analysis demonstrated that BtxA shoulders had higher murine shoulder arthritis scale scores (+30%), and therefore more shoulder OA compared to controls. Articular cartilage of BtxA shoulders demonstrated stiffening of the tissue. Compared with controls, articular cartilage from BtxA shoulders had 2-fold and 10-fold decreases in Dkk1 and BMP2 expression, respectively, and 3-fold and 14-fold increases in Col10A1 and BGLAP expression, respectively, consistent with established models of OA. In summary, a brief period of paralysis of the neonatal mouse shoulder was sufficient to generate early signs of OA in adult cartilage and bone.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1981-1992
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Research
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • botulinum toxin
  • brachial plexus
  • mouse model
  • osteoarthritis


Dive into the research topics of 'Transient neonatal shoulder paralysis causes early osteoarthritis in a mouse model'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this