Article

BMP receptor signaling is required for postnatal maintenance of articular cartilage.

Department of Developmental Biology and Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California, USA.
PLoS Biology (Impact Factor: 11.77). 12/2004; 2(11):e355. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.0020355
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Articular cartilage plays an essential role in health and mobility, but is frequently damaged or lost in millions of people that develop arthritis. The molecular mechanisms that create and maintain this thin layer of cartilage that covers the surface of bones in joint regions are poorly understood, in part because tools to manipulate gene expression specifically in this tissue have not been available. Here we use regulatory information from the mouse Gdf5 gene (a bone morphogenetic protein [BMP] family member) to develop new mouse lines that can be used to either activate or inactivate genes specifically in developing joints. Expression of Cre recombinase from Gdf5 bacterial artificial chromosome clones leads to specific activation or inactivation of floxed target genes in developing joints, including early joint interzones, adult articular cartilage, and the joint capsule. We have used this system to test the role of BMP receptor signaling in joint development. Mice with null mutations in Bmpr1a are known to die early in embryogenesis with multiple defects. However, combining a floxed Bmpr1a allele with the Gdf5-Cre driver bypasses this embryonic lethality, and leads to birth and postnatal development of mice missing the Bmpr1a gene in articular regions. Most joints in the body form normally in the absence of Bmpr1a receptor function. However, articular cartilage within the joints gradually wears away in receptor-deficient mice after birth in a process resembling human osteoarthritis. Gdf5-Cre mice provide a general system that can be used to test the role of genes in articular regions. BMP receptor signaling is required not only for early development and creation of multiple tissues, but also for ongoing maintenance of articular cartilage after birth. Genetic variation in the strength of BMP receptor signaling may be an important risk factor in human osteoarthritis, and treatments that mimic or augment BMP receptor signaling should be investigated as a possible therapeutic strategy for maintaining the health of joint linings.

0 Bookmarks
 · 
82 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Transgenic mice are used to study the roles of specific proteins in an intact living system. Use of transgenic mice to study processes in cartilage, however, poses some challenges. First of all, many factors involved in cartilage homeostasis and disease are also crucial factors in embryogenesis. Therefore, meddling with these factors often leads to death before birth, and mice who do survive cannot be considered normal. The build-up of cartilage in these mice is altered, making it nearly impossible to truly interpret the role of a protein in adult cartilage function. An elegant way to overcome these limitations is to make transgenic mice time- and tissue-specific, thereby omitting side-effects in tissues other than cartilage and during embryology. This review discusses the potential building blocks for making an inducible cartilage-specific transgenic mouse. We review which promoters can be used to gain chondrocyte-specificity - all chondrocytes or a specific subset thereof - as well as different systems that can be used to enable inducibility of a transgene.
    Arthritis Research & Therapy 06/2014; 16(3):210. · 4.12 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Articular cartilage has poor capacity of self-renewal and repair. Insufficient number and activity of resident mesenchymal (connective tissue) progenitors is likely one of the underlying reasons. Chondroprogenitors reside not only in the superficial zone of articular cartilage but also in other zones of articular cartilage and in the neighboring tissues, including perichondrium (groove of Ranvier), synovium and fat pad. These cells may respond to injury and contribute to articular cartilage healing. In addition, marrow stromal cells can migrate through subchondral bone when articular cartilage is damaged. We should develop drugs and methods that correctly stimulate resident progenitors for improvement of repair and inhibition of degenerative changes in articular cartilage.
    Matrix Biology 10/2014; · 3.65 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The central importance of BMP signaling in the development and homeostasis of synovial joint of appendicular skeleton has been well documented, but its role in the development of temporomandibular joint (TMJ), also classified as a synovial joint, remains completely unknown. In this study, we investigated the function of BMPRIA mediated signaling in TMJ development in mice by transgenic loss-of- and gain-of-function approaches. We found that BMPRIA is expressed in the cranial neural crest (CNC)-derived developing condyle and glenoid fossa, major components of TMJ, as well as the interzone mesenchymal cells. Wnt1-Cre mediated tissue specific inactivation of BmprIa in CNC lineage led to defective TMJ development, including failure of articular disc separation from a hypoplastic condyle, persistence of interzone cells, and failed formation of a functional fibrocartilage layer on the articular surface of the glenoid fossa and condyle, which could be at least partially attributed to the down-regulation of Ihh in the developing condyle and inhibition of apoptosis in the interzone. On the other hand, augmented BMPRIA signaling by Wnt1-Cre driven expression of a constitutively active form of BmprIa (caBmprIa) inhibited osteogenesis of the glenoid fossa and converted the condylar primordium from secondary cartilage to primary cartilage associated with ectopic activation of Smad-dependent pathway but inhibition of JNK pathway, leading to TMJ agenesis. Our results present unambiguous evidence for an essential role of finely tuned BMPRIA mediated signaling in TMJ development.
    PLoS ONE 08/2014; 9(8):e101000. · 3.53 Impact Factor

Full-text (3 Sources)

Download
5 Downloads
Available from
Oct 9, 2014