Endochondral bone growth, bone calcium accretion, and bone mineral density: how are they related?
ABSTRACT Endochondral bone growth in young growing mammals or adult mammals with persistent growth plates progresses from proliferation, maturation and hypertrophy of growth plate chondrocytes to mineralization of cartilaginous matrix to form an osseous tissue. This complex process is tightly regulated by a number of factors with different impacts, such as genetics, endocrine/paracrine factors [e.g., PTHrP, 1,25(OH)(2)D(3), IGF-1, FGFs, and prolactin], and nutritional status (e.g., dietary calcium and vitamin D). Despite a strong link between growth plate function and elongation of the long bone, little is known whether endochondral bone growth indeed determines bone calcium accretion, bone mineral density (BMD), and/or peak bone mass. Since the process ends with cartilaginous matrix calcification, an increase in endochondral bone growth typically leads to more calcium accretion in the primary spongiosa and thus higher BMD. However, in lactating rats with enhanced trabecular bone resorption, bone elongation is inversely correlated with BMD. Although BMD can be increased by factors that enhance endochondral bone growth, the endochondral bone growth itself is unlikely to be an important determinant of peak bone mass since it is strongly determined by genetics. Therefore, endochondral bone growth and bone elongation are associated with calcium accretion only in a particular subregion of the long bone, but do not necessarily predict BMD and peak bone mass.
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ABSTRACT: During endochondral ossification, two secreted signals, Indian hedgehog (Ihh) and parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP), have been shown to form a negative feedback loop regulating the onset of hypertrophic differentiation of chondrocytes. Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs), another family of secreted factors regulating bone formation, have been implicated as potential interactors of the Ihh/PTHrP feedback loop. To analyze the relationship between the two signaling pathways, we used an organ culture system for limb explants of mouse and chick embryos. We manipulated chondrocyte differentiation by supplementing these cultures either with BMP2, PTHrP and Sonic hedgehog as activators or with Noggin and cyclopamine as inhibitors of the BMP and Ihh/PTHrP signaling systems. Overexpression of Ihh in the cartilage elements of transgenic mice results in an upregulation of PTHrP expression and a delayed onset of hypertrophic differentiation. Noggin treatment of limbs from these mice did not antagonize the effects of Ihh overexpression. Conversely, the promotion of chondrocyte maturation induced by cyclopamine, which blocks Ihh signaling, could not be rescued with BMP2. Thus BMP signaling does not act as a secondary signal of Ihh to induce PTHrP expression or to delay the onset of hypertrophic differentiation. Similar results were obtained using cultures of chick limbs. We further investigated the role of BMP signaling in regulating proliferation and hypertrophic differentiation of chondrocytes and identified three functions of BMP signaling in this process. First we found that maintaining a normal proliferation rate requires BMP and Ihh signaling acting in parallel. We further identified a role for BMP signaling in modulating the expression of IHH: Finally, the application of Noggin to mouse limb explants resulted in advanced differentiation of terminally hypertrophic cells, implicating BMP signaling in delaying the process of hypertrophic differentiation itself. This role of BMP signaling is independent of the Ihh/PTHrP pathway.Development 12/2001; 128(22):4523-34. · 6.21 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Lactose promotes the intestinal absorption of calcium independent of the vitamin D endocrine system. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of lactose supplementation on endochondral bone growth, bone development and mineralization in weanling rats fed a vitamin D-deficient diet. Rat pups were weaned from vitamin D-deficient dams and fed a vitamin D-deficient diet containing sucrose as the primary carbohydrate source or a similar diet but containing 20% lactose. After 4 wk, body weights, serum calcium levels and endochondral bone elongation rates in the lactose-fed animals were higher than in rats fed the sucrose diet. In addition, bone weights, bone calcium content, percent bone ash of bone dry weight, percent metaphyseal osseous tissues and bone osteoid content in the lactose-fed rats were different from those in the rats fed the sucrose diet. In all cases the changes in osseous tissues that were observed in the animals fed the lactose-supplemented diet were toward normal values as observed in age-matched animals fed a vitamin D-replete diet. The improvements in bone growth and development due to lactose supplementation occurred independent of the vitamin D endocrine system and are likely the result of improved calcium absorption in the intestine.Journal of Nutrition 02/1988; 118(1):72-7. · 4.20 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: To examine whether the transcription factor Sox9 has an essential role during the sequential steps of chondrocyte differentiation, we have used the Cre/loxP recombination system to generate mouse embryos in which either Sox9 is missing from undifferentiated mesenchymal cells of limb buds or the Sox9 gene is inactivated after chondrogenic mesenchymal condensations. Inactivation of Sox9 in limb buds before mesenchymal condensations resulted in a complete absence of both cartilage and bone, but markers for the different axes of limb development showed a normal pattern of expression. Apoptotic domains within the developing limbs were expanded, suggesting that Sox9 suppresses apoptosis. Expression of Sox5 and Sox6, two other Sox genes involved in chondrogenesis, was no longer detected. Moreover, expression of Runx2, a transcription factor needed for osteoblast differentiation, was also abolished. Embryos, in which Sox9 was deleted after mesenchymal condensations, exhibited a severe generalized chondrodysplasia, similar to that in Sox5; Sox6 double-null mutant mice. Most cells were arrested as condensed mesenchymal cells and did not undergo overt differentiation into chondrocytes. Furthermore, chondrocyte proliferation was severely inhibited and joint formation was defective. Although Indian hedgehog, Patched1, parathyroid hormone-related peptide (Pthrp), and Pth/Pthrp receptor were expressed, their expression was down-regulated. Our experiments further suggested that Sox9 is also needed to prevent conversion of proliferating chondrocytes into hypertrophic chondrocytes. We conclude that Sox9 is required during sequential steps of the chondrocyte differentiation pathway.Genes & Development 12/2002; 16(21):2813-28. · 12.44 Impact Factor