Spatial and temporal gene expression in chondrogenesis during fracture healing and the effects of basic fibroblast growth factor

Journal of Orthopaedic Research (Impact Factor: 2.88). 08/2001; 19(5):935 - 944. DOI: 10.1016/S0736-0266(01)00024-9

ABSTRACT Chondrogenesis is an essential component of endochondral fracture healing, though the molecular and cellular events by which it is regulated have not been fully elucidated. In this study, we used a rat model of closed fracture healing to determine the spatial and temporal expression of genes for cartilage-specific collagens. Furthermore, to determine the effects of basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) on chondrogenesis in fracture healing, we injected 100 μg recombinant human bFGF into the fracture site immediately after fracture.In normal calluses, pro-(II) collagen mRNA (COL2A1) was detected in proliferative chondrocytes beginning on day 4 after the fracture, and pro-(X) collagen mRNA (COL10A1) in hypertrophic chondrocytes beginning on day 7. In FGF-injected calluses, the cartilage enlarged in size significantly. On day 14, both COL2A1-and COL10A1-expressing cells were more widely distributed, and the amounts of COL2A1 and COL10A1 mRNAs were both approximately 2-fold increased when compared with uninjected fractures. Temporal patterns of expression for these genes were, however, identical to those found in normal calluses. The number of proliferating cell nuclear antigen-positive cells was increased in the non-cartilaginous area in the bFGF-injected calluses by day 4.The present molecular analyses demonstrate that a single injection of bFGF enhances the proliferation of chondroprogenitor cells in fracture callus, and thus contributes to the formation of a larger cartilage. However, maturation of chondrocytes and replacement of the cartilage by osseous tissue are not enhanced by exogenous bFGF, and this results in the prolonged cartilaginous callus phase. We conclude that, in the healing of closed fractures of long bones, exogenous bFGF has a capacity to enlarge the cartilaginous calluses, but not to induce more rapid healing. © 2001 Orthopaedic Research Society. Punlished by Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

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