Chondrocyte Gene Expression in Proliferative and Hypertrophic Chondrocytes of Chick
ABSTRACT: Longitudinal bone growth depends upon the execution of an intricate series of cellular activities by epiphyseal growth plate chondrocytes. In order to better understand these coordinated events, microarray analysis was used to compare gene expression in chondrocytes isolated from the proliferative and hypertrophic zones of the avian growth plate. In this experiment we compared pooled samples of proliferative and hypertrophic chondrocytes isolated from the chick growth plate. The expression of 745 genes was found to differ 3-fold or greater at the 0.05 level of probability. Overall design: We examined 8 samples using arrays: 4 from proliferative and 4 from hypertrophic chondrocytes.
Project description:Longitudinal bone growth depends upon the execution of an intricate series of cellular activities by epiphyseal growth plate chondrocytes. In order to better understand these coordinated events, microarray analysis was used to compare gene expression in chondrocytes isolated from the proliferative and hypertrophic zones of the avian growth plate. In this experiment we compared pooled samples of proliferative and hypertrophic chondrocytes isolated from the chick growth plate. The expression of 745 genes was found to differ 3-fold or greater at the 0.05 level of probability. Experiment Overall Design: We examined 8 samples using arrays: 4 from proliferative and 4 from hypertrophic chondrocytes.
Project description:We previously demonstrated that bovine epiphyseal chondrocytes separated by density gradient centrifugation differ in proliferative response to IGF-I and IGF-I receptor number. To identify novel modifiers of IGF-I action at the growth plate, we used microarray analyses to compare bovine hypertrophic and reserve zones and identified several receptors differentially expressed across the growth plate: NTRK2 [receptor for brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)], KIT [receptor for stem cell factor (SCF)], and MER and AXL [two receptors for growth arrest-specific 6 (Gas6)]. The corresponding ligands were tested for their ability to stimulate either proliferation of isolated chondrocytes or differentiation in ATDC5 cells. Each factor inhibited IGF-I-mediated proliferation in isolated chondrocytes by attenuating ERK1/2 activation. SCF, BDNF, Gas6, and C-type natriuretic peptide promoted differentiation in ATDC5 cells, each factor producing different expression patterns for collagen X, collagen 2, aggrecan, and lysyl oxidase. Whereas multiple factors stimulated ATDC5 differentiation, only IGF-I and high-dose insulin, out of several factors implicated in chondrocyte maturation, stimulated proliferation of isolated chondrocytes. IGF-I appears to be the primary proliferative signal in growth plate chondrocytes, whereas multiple factors including SCF, BDNF, and Gas6 regulate the pace of differentiation at the growth plate.
Project description:The abundant proteoglycan, aggrecan, is resorbed from growth plate cartilage during endochondral bone ossification, yet mice with genetically-ablated aggrecan-degrading activity have no defects in bone formation. To account for this apparent anomaly, we propose that lysosomal hydrolases degrade extracellular, hyaluronan-bound aggrecan aggregates in growth plate cartilage, and that lysosomal hydrolases are released from hypertrophic chondrocytes into growth plate cartilage via Ca(2+)-dependent lysosomal exocytosis. In this study we confirm that hypertrophic chondrocytes release hydrolases via lysosomal exocytosis in vitro and we show in vivo evidence for lysosomal exocytosis in hypertrophic chondrocytes during skeletal development. We show that lysosome-associated membrane protein 1 (LAMP1) is detected at the cell surface following in vitro treatment of epiphyseal chondrocytes with the calcium ionophore, ionomycin. Furthermore, we show that in addition to the lysosomal exocytosis markers, cathepsin D and ?-hexosaminidase, ionomycin induces release of aggrecan- and hyaluronan-degrading activity from cultured epiphyseal chondrocytes. We identify VAMP-8 and VAMP7 as v-SNARE proteins with potential roles in lysosomal exocytosis in hypertrophic chondrocytes, based on their colocalisation with LAMP1 at the cell surface in secondary ossification centers in mouse tibiae. We propose that resorbing growth plate cartilage involves release of destructive hydrolases from hypertrophic chondrocytes, via lysosomal exocytosis.
Project description:Growth plate chondrocytes undergo sequential differentiation to form the resting zone, the proliferative zone (PZ), and the hypertrophic zone (HZ). The important role of microRNAs (miRNAs) in the growth plate was previously revealed by cartilage-specific ablation of Dicer, an enzyme essential for biogenesis of many miRNAs. To identify specific miRNAs that regulate differentiation of PZ chondrocytes to HZ chondrocytes, we microdissected individual growth plate zones from juvenile rats and performed miRNA profiling using a solution hybridization method and miRNA sequencing. Thirty-four miRNAs were differentially expressed between the PZ and the HZ, and we hypothesized that some of the miRNAs that are preferentially expressed in the PZ may promote proliferation and inhibit hypertrophic differentiation. Consistent with this hypothesis, transfection of inhibitors for four of these miRNAs (mir-369-3p, mir-374-5p, mir-379-5p, and mir-503-5p) decreased proliferation in primary epiphyseal chondrocytes. The inhibitors for three of these miRNAs (mir-374-5p, mir-379-5p, and mir-503-5p) also increased expression of multiple genes that are associated with chondrocyte hypertrophic differentiation. We next hypothesized that preferential expression of these miRNAs in the PZ is driven by the parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP) concentration gradient across the growth plate. Consistent with this hypothesis, treatment of primary chondrocytes with a parathyroid hormone (PTH)/PTHrP receptor agonist, PTH1-34, increased expression of mir-374-5p, mir-379-5p, and mir-503-5p. Taken together, our findings suggest that the PTHrP concentration gradient across the growth plate induces differential expression of mir-374-5p, mir-379-5p, and mir-503-5p between the PZ and the HZ. In the PZ, the higher expression levels of these miRNAs promote proliferation and inhibit hypertrophic differentiation. In the HZ, downregulation of these miRNAs inhibits proliferation and promotes hypertrophic differentiation.
Project description:Previously, we have performed subtractive hybridization to identify genes up-regulated in hypertrophic chondrocytes of the avian epiphyseal growth plate. In the present study, we report the identification of one of the clones as UDP-glucose pyrophosphorylase (UDPG-PPase) and propose a possible function for this enzyme in regulating hyaluronan (HA) synthesis in hypertrophic cartilage. We have cloned the 2.6 kb full-length cDNA for avian UDPG-PPase and confirmed its up-regulation in hypertrophic versus non-hypertrophic cartilage by Northern-blot analysis. The 6-fold increase in mRNA was paralleled by an equivalent increase in enzymic activity. The enzyme catalyses the conversion of glucose 1-phosphate into UDP-glucose, which is used to synthesize a number of cellular components, including HA. Overexpression of enzymically active UDPG-PPase in non-hypertrophic chondrocytes resulted in a 2-3-fold increase in total HA, as determined by a competitive binding assay and immunohistochemistry. In the developing growth plate, HA synthesis was elevated in the hypertrophic zone along with the up-regulation of the HA synthase (HAS)-2 gene. Our data suggest that an increase in both activities, UDPG-PPase and HAS-2, is required for non-hypertrophic chondrocytes to synthesize an amount of HA comparable with that in hypertrophic chondrocytes. Therefore we conclude that HA synthesis during chondrocyte differentiation is regulated at the level of the substrate-provider gene, UDPG-PPase, as well as the HAS genes.
Project description:According to the general understanding, the chondrocyte lineage terminates with the elimination of late hypertrophic cells by apoptosis in the growth plate. However, recent cell tracking studies have shown that murine hypertrophic chondrocytes can survive beyond "terminal" differentiation and give rise to a progeny of osteoblasts participating in endochondral bone formation. The question how chondrocytes convert into osteoblasts, however, remained open. Following the cell fate of hypertrophic chondrocytes by genetic lineage tracing using BACCol10;Cre induced YFP-reporter gene expression we show that a progeny of Col10Cre-reporter labelled osteoprogenitor cells and osteoblasts appears in the primary spongiosa and participates - depending on the developmental stage - substantially in trabecular, endosteal, and cortical bone formation. YFP(+) trabecular and endosteal cells isolated by FACS expressed Col1a1, osteocalcin and runx2, thus confirming their osteogenic phenotype. In searching for transitory cells between hypertrophic chondrocytes and trabecular osteoblasts we identified by confocal microscopy a novel, small YFP(+)Osx(+) cell type with mitotic activity in the lower hypertrophic zone at the chondro-osseous junction. When isolated from growth plates by fractional enzymatic digestion, these cells termed CDOP (chondrocyte-derived osteoprogenitor) cells expressed bone typical genes and differentiated into osteoblasts in vitro. We propose the Col10Cre-labeled CDOP cells mark the initiation point of a second pathway giving rise to endochondral osteoblasts, alternative to perichondrium derived osteoprogenitor cells. These findings add to current concepts of chondrocyte-osteocyte lineages and give new insight into the complex cartilage-bone transition process in the growth plate.
Project description:The physis, or growth plate, is a complex disc-shaped cartilage structure that is responsible for longitudinal bone growth. In this study, a multi-scale computational approach was undertaken to better understand how physiological loads are experienced by chondrocytes embedded inside chondrons when subjected to moderate strain under instantaneous compressive loading of the growth plate. Models of representative samples of compressed bone/growth-plate/bone from a 0.67 mm thick 4-month old bovine proximal tibial physis were subjected to a prescribed displacement equal to 20% of the growth plate thickness. At the macroscale level, the applied compressive deformation resulted in an overall compressive strain across the proliferative-hypertrophic zone of 17%. The microscale model predicted that chondrocytes sustained compressive height strains of 12% and 6% in the proliferative and hypertrophic zones, respectively, in the interior regions of the plate. This pattern was reversed within the outer 300 ?m region at the free surface where cells were compressed by 10% in the proliferative and 26% in the hypertrophic zones, in agreement with experimental observations. This work provides a new approach to study growth plate behavior under compression and illustrates the need for combining computational and experimental methods to better understand the chondrocyte mechanics in the growth plate cartilage. While the current model is relevant to fast dynamic events, such as heel strike in walking, we believe this approach provides new insight into the mechanical factors that regulate bone growth at the cell level and provides a basis for developing models to help interpret experimental results at varying time scales.
Project description:Activating transcription factor 4 (Atf4) is a leucine-zipper-containing protein of the cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) family. Ablation of Atf4 (Atf4(-/-)) in mice leads to severe skeletal defects, including delayed ossification and low bone mass, short stature and short limbs. Atf4 is expressed in proliferative and prehypertrophic growth plate chondrocytes, suggesting an autonomous function of Atf4 in chondrocytes during endochondral ossification. In Atf4(-/-) growth plate, the typical columnar structure of proliferative chondrocytes is disturbed. The proliferative zone is shortened, whereas the hypertrophic zone is transiently expanded. The expression of Indian hedgehog (Ihh) is markedly decreased, whereas the expression of other chondrocyte marker genes, such as type II collagen (Col2a1), PTH/PTHrP receptor (Pth1r) and type X collagen (Col10a1), is normal. Furthermore, forced expression of Atf4 in chondrocytes induces endogenous Ihh mRNA, and Atf4 directly binds to the Ihh promoter and activates its transcription. Supporting these findings, reactivation of Hh signaling pharmacologically in mouse limb explants corrects the Atf4(-/-) chondrocyte proliferation and short limb phenotypes. This study thus identifies Atf4 as a novel transcriptional activator of Ihh in chondrocytes that paces longitudinal bone growth by controlling growth plate chondrocyte proliferation and differentiation.
Project description:Longitudinal growth of endochondral bones is accomplished through the co-ordinated proliferation and hypertrophic differentiation of growth plate chondrocytes. The molecular mechanisms and signalling cascades controlling these processes are not well understood. To analyse the expression and roles of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinases in this process, we have established a micromass system for the reproducible hypertrophic differentiation of mouse mesenchymal limb bud cells. Our results show that all four mammalian p38 kinase genes are expressed during the chondrogenic programme, as well as their upstream regulators MKK3 (mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase 3) and MKK6. Treatment of micromass cultures with pharmacological inhibitors of p38 results in a marked delay in hypertrophic differentiation in micromass cultures, indicating a requirement for p38 signalling in chondrocyte differentiation. Inhibition of p38 kinase activity leads to reduced and delayed induction of alkaline phosphatase activity and matrix mineralization. In addition, p38 inhibition causes reduced expression of hypertrophic marker genes such as collagen X, matrix metalloproteinase 13 and bone sialoprotein. The function of p38 in hypertrophic differentiation appears to be mediated, at least in part, by the transcription factor myocyte enhancer factor 2C. In summary, we have demonstrated a novel requirement for p38 signalling in hypertrophic differentiation of chondrocytes and identified myocyte enhancer factor 2C as an important regulator of chondrocyte gene expression.
Project description:Background:Long bones of limbs are formed through endochondral bone formation, which depends on the coordinated development of growth plates. Our previous studies have demonstrated that dysfunction of mitogen-activated protein kinase 7 (MAPK7) can cause skeletal dysplasia. However, little is known about the role of MAPK7 in the regulation of proliferation and differentiation of chondrocytes during growth plate development. Results:Ablation of MAPK7 expression in chondrocytes led to growth restriction, short limbs and bone mass loss in postnatal mice. Histological studies revealed that MAPK7 deficiency increased the apoptosis and decreased the proliferation of chondrocytes in the center of the proliferative layer, where the most highly hypoxic chondrocytes are located. Accordingly, hypertrophic differentiation markers were downregulated in the central hypertrophic layer, beneath the site where abnormal apoptosis was observed. Simultaneously, we demonstrated that hypoxic adaptation and hypoxia-induced activation of hypoxia-inducible factor 1 subunit ? (HIF1?) were impaired when MAPK7 could not be activated normally in primary chondrocytes. Concomitantly, vascular invasion into epiphyseal cartilage was inhibited when Mapk7 was deleted. Conclusions:We demonstrated that MAPK7 is necessary for maintaining proliferation, survival, and differentiation of chondrocytes during postnatal growth plate development, possibly through modulating HIF1? signaling for adaptation to hypoxia. These results indicate that MAPK7 signaling might be a target for treatment of chondrodysplasia.