Aggrecan modulation of growth plate morphogenesis.

Departments of Pediatrics and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Committee on Developmental Biology, The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637, USA.
Developmental Biology (Impact Factor: 3.64). 04/2009; 329(2):242-57. DOI: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2009.02.024
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Chick and mouse embryos with heritable deficiencies of aggrecan exhibit severe dwarfism and premature death, demonstrating the essential involvement of aggrecan in development. The aggrecan-deficient nanomelic (nm) chick mutant E12 fully formed growth plate (GP) is devoid of matrix and exhibits markedly altered cytoarchitecture, proliferative capacity, and degree of cell death. While differentiation of chondroblasts to pre-hypertrophic chondrocytes (IHH expression) is normal up to E6, the extended periosteum expression pattern of PTCH (a downstream effector of IHH) indicates altered propagation of IHH signaling, as well as accelerated down-regulation of FGFR3 expression, decreased BrdU incorporation and higher levels of ERK phosphorylation, all indicating early effects on FGF signaling. By E7 reduced IHH expression and premature expression of COL10A1 foreshadow the acceleration of hypertrophy observed at E12. By E8, exacerbated co-expression of IHH and COL10A1 lead to delayed separation and establishment of the two GPs in each element. By E9, increased numbers of cells express P-SMAD1/5/8, indicating altered BMP signaling. These results indicate that the IHH, FGF and BMP signaling pathways are altered from the very beginning of GP formation in the absence of aggrecan, thereby inducing premature hypertrophic chondrocyte maturation, leading to the nanomelic long bone growth disorder.

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