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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Regulation of growth plate chondrogenesis by bone morphogenetic protein-2.

Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) regulate embryonic skeletal development. We hypothesized that BMP-2, which is expressed in the growth plate, also regulates growth plate chondrogenesis and longitudinal bone growth. To test this hypothesis, fetal rat metatarsal bones were cultured for 3 days in the presence of recombinant human BMP-2. The addition of BMP-2 caused a concentration-dependent acceleration of metatarsal longitudinal growth. As the rate of longitudinal bone growth depends primarily on the rate of growth plate chondrogenesis, we studied each of its three major components. BMP-2 stimulated chondrocyte proliferation in the epiphyseal zone of the growth plate, as assessed by [(3)H]thymidine incorporation. BMP-2 also caused an increase in chondrocyte hypertrophy, as assessed by quantitative histology and enzyme histochemistry. A stimulatory effect on cartilage matrix synthesis, assessed by (35)SO(4) incorporation into glycosaminoglycans, was produced only by the highest concentration of BMP-2. These BMP-2-mediated stimulatory effects were reversed by recombinant human Noggin, a glycoprotein that blocks BMP-2 action. In the absence of exogenous BMP-2, Noggin inhibited metatarsal longitudinal growth, chondrocyte proliferation, and chondrocyte hypertrophy, which suggests that endogenous BMPs stimulate longitudinal bone growth and chondrogenesis. We conclude that BMP-2 accelerates longitudinal bone growth by stimulating growth plate chondrocyte proliferation and chondrocyte hypertrophy.[1]


  1. Regulation of growth plate chondrogenesis by bone morphogenetic protein-2. De Luca F, n.u.l.l., Barnes, K.M., Uyeda, J.A., De-Levi, S., Abad, V., Palese, T., Mericq, V., Baron, J. Endocrinology (2001) [Pubmed]
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