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

Global gene expression analysis in the bones reveals involvement of several novel genes and pathways in mediating an anabolic response of mechanical loading in mice.

To identify the genes and signal pathways responsible for mechanical loading-induced bone formation, we evaluated differential gene expression on a global basis in the tibias of C57BL/6J (B6) mice after four days of four-point bending. We applied mechanical loads to the right tibias of the B6 mice at 9 N, 2 Hz for 36 cycles per day, with the left tibias used as unloaded controls. RNA from the tibias was harvested 24 h after last stimulation and subjected to microarray. Of the 20,280 transcripts hybridized to the array, 346 were differentially expressed in the loaded bones compared to the controls. The validity of the microarray data was established with the increased expression of bone-related genes such as pleiotrophin, osteoglycin, and legumain upon four-point bending and confirmation of increased expression of selected genes by real-time PCR. The list of differentially expressed genes includes genes involved in cell growth, differentiation, adhesion, proteolysis, as well as signaling molecules of receptors for growth factors, integrin, Ephrin B2, endothelin, and adhesion G protein coupled receptor. Pathway analyses suggested that 28 out of the 346 genes exhibited a direct biological association. Among the biological network, fibronectin and pleitrophin function as important signaling molecules in regulating periosteal bone formation and resorption in response to four-point bending. Furthermore, some expressed sequence tags (ESTs) with no prior known function have been identified as potential mediators of mechanotransduction signaling pathways. Further studies on these previously unknown genes will improve our understanding of the molecular pathways and mechanisms involved in bone's response to mechanical stress.[1]


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