Old astrocyte specifically induced substance (OASIS), which is a new type of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress transducer, is a basic leucine zipper transcription factor of the CREB/ATF family that contains a transmembrane domain and is processed by regulated intramembrane proteolysis in response to ER stress. OASIS is selectively expressed in certain types of cells such as astrocytes and osteoblasts. We have previously demonstrated that OASIS activates transcription of the type I collagen gene Col1a1 and contributes to the secretion of bone matrix proteins in osteoblasts, and that OASIS-/- mice exhibit osteopenia and growth retardation. In the present study, we examined whether osteopenia in OASIS-/- mice is rescued by OASIS introduction into osteoblasts. We generated OASIS-/- mice that specifically expressed OASIS in osteoblasts using a 2.3-kb osteoblast-specific type I collagen promoter (OASIS-/-;Tg mice). Histological analysis of OASIS-/-;Tg mice revealed that osteopenia in OASIS-/- mice was rescued by osteoblast-specific expression of the OASIS transgene. The decreased expression levels of type I collagen mRNAs in the bone tissues of OASIS-/- mice were recovered by the OASIS transgene accompanied by the rescue of an abnormal expansion of the rough ER in OASIS-/- osteoblasts. In contrast, growth retardation in OASIS-/- mice did not improve in OASIS-/-;Tg mice. Interestingly, the serum levels of growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1 were downregulated in OASIS-/- mice compared with those in wild-type mice. These decreased GH and IGF-1 levels in OASIS-/- mice did not change when OASIS was introduced into osteoblasts. Taken together, these results indicate that OASIS regulates skeletal development by osteoblast-dependent and -independent mechanisms. (C) 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.