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Precise spatial restriction of BMP signaling is essential for articular cartilage differentiation.


ABSTRACT: The articular cartilage, which lines the joints of the limb skeleton, is distinct from the adjoining transient cartilage, and yet, it differentiates as a unique population within a contiguous cartilage element. Current literature suggests that articular cartilage and transient cartilage originate from different cell populations. Using a combination of lineage tracing and pulse-chase of actively proliferating chondrocytes, we here demonstrate that, similar to transient cartilage, embryonic articular cartilage cells also originate from the proliferating chondrocytes situated near the distal ends of skeletal anlagen. We show that nascent cartilage cells are capable of differentiating as articular or transient cartilage, depending on exposure to Wnt or BMP signaling, respectively. The spatial organization of the articular cartilage results from a band of Nog-expressing cells, which insulates these proliferating chondrocytes from BMP signaling and allows them to differentiate as articular cartilage under the influence of Wnt signaling emanating from the interzone. Through experiments conducted in both chick and mouse embryos we have developed a model explaining simultaneous growth and differentiation of transient and articular cartilage in juxtaposed domains.

SUBMITTER: Ray A 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC4360183 | BioStudies | 2015-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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