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Pediatr Endocrinol Rev. 2003 Sep;1(1):2-8.

Integrins in growth plate cartilage.

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  • 1Institute of Histology and Embryology, University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, Austria.


The growth plate is a highly specialized layer of cartilage where chondrocytes proliferate and differentiate in order to bring forth longitudinal bone growth. Interaction of cells with the extracellular matrix significantly influences differentiation and growth. These processes involve integrin as well as nonintegrin cell surface receptors, like annexin V and CD44. In chondrocytes, which are surrounded by abundant matrix, tissue integrity and cell survival depend on well-tuned interactions of cells and ECM. In the field of growth research, besides classical growth stimulating factors acting via endocrine pathways, investigations on local determinants of cell differentiation and survival play an important role. This review describes the role and function of integrins, their occurrence in growth plate cartilage and their possible involvement in differentiation during growth.

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