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Biorheology. 2006;43(3-4):355-70.

Mechanical regulation of secondary chondrogenesis.

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  • 1Connective Tissue Biology Laboratories, School of Biosciences, Cardiff University, Museum Avenue, Cardiff, Wales, UK.

Abstract

The development of the skull is characterised by its dependence upon epigenetic influences. One of the most important of these is secondary chondrogenesis, which occurs following ossification within certain membrane bone periostea, as a result of biomechanical articulation. We have studied the genesis, character and function of the secondary chondrocytes of the quadratojugal of the chick between embryonic days 11 and 14. Analysis of gene expression revealed that secondary chondrocytes formed coincident with Sox9 upregulation from a precursor population expressing Cbfa1/Runx2: a reversal of the normal sequence. Such secondary chondrocytes rapidly acquired a phenotype that is a compound of prehypertrophic and hypertrophic chondrocytes, exited from the cell cycle and upregulated Ihh. Pulse and pulse/chase experiments with BrdU confirmed the germinal region as the highly proliferative source of the secondary chondrocytes, which formed by division of chondrocyte-committed precursors. By blocking Hh signalling in explant cultures we show that the enhanced proliferation of the germinal region surrounding the secondary chondrocytes derives from this Ihh source. Additionally, in vitro studies on membrane bone periosteal cells (nongerminal region) demonstrated that these cells can also respond to Ihh, and do so both by enhanced proliferation and precocious osteogenesis. Despite the pro-osteogenic effects of Ihh on periosteal cell differentiation, mechanical articulation of the quadratojugal/quadrate joint in explant culture revealed a negative role for articulation in the regulation of osteocalcin by germinal region descendants. Thus, the mechanical stimulus that is the spur to secondary chondrocyte formation appears able to override the osteogenic influence of Ihh on the periosteum, but does not interfere with the cell cycle-promoting component of Hh signalling.

PMID:
16912408
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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