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

In situ hybridization to show sequential expression of osteoblast gene markers during bone formation in vivo.

We investigated the sequence of expression of osteoblast gene markers during bone formation in vivo by in situ hybridization. Cylindrical lesions were induced in the femora of sheep with titanium analytic bone implants that allow removal of serial core samples to study bone formation. At 2 weeks (2W), granulation tissue made up of spindle-shaped cells had partially replaced the blood clot. Islands of osseous tissue, first noted in the periphery of the ingrowing tissue at 3W, became the predominant tissue by 6W. The surfaces of newly forming bone at 3W were apposed by cuboidal cells, which in some areas were several layers thick. By 6W, most of the cells lining bone trabeculae had assumed a flattened morphology. The temporal and spatial distribution of osteoblast gene markers was examined by in situ hybridization with nonradioactive digoxigenin probes for alpha 1(I) procollagen, alkaline phosphatase (ALP), osteopontin ( OP), and bone Gla protein (BGP). The spindle-shaped cells in the granulation tissue expressed mRNA for alpha 1(I) procollagen, ALP, and OP but not BGP, suggesting that they may be osteoblast precursor cells. alpha 1(I) procollagen mRNA was strongly expressed by all cells on the surface of bone, with a peak intensity at 3W and then reducing sharply by 6W. Initially, only pockets of cuboidal cells on bone surfaces expressed ALP mRNA, with a peak intensity at 5W. Similarly, only a proportion of cuboidal cells expressed OP mRNA early in bone formation, but the number of cells expressing OP mRNA increased with time. Clumps of cuboidal cells expressed BGP mRNA only when bone was present, and the degree of expression increased with the amount of bone formed. This model allows the study of temporal and spatial sequence of gene expression in cells participating in osteogenesis. The temporal sequence is similar to that shown in vitro in other models of mineralization. The geographic localization of cells expressing mRNA for alpha 1(I) procollagen, ALP, OP, and BGP implies subspecialization of osteoblasts in bone formation.[1]

References

  1. In situ hybridization to show sequential expression of osteoblast gene markers during bone formation in vivo. Zhou, H., Choong, P., McCarthy, R., Chou, S.T., Martin, T.J., Ng, K.W. J. Bone Miner. Res. (1994) [Pubmed]
 
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