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Mol Cell Endocrinol. 1999 May 25;151(1-2):195-204.

Hormone regulation of chondrocyte differentiation and endochondral bone formation.

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Division of Medicine and MRC Clinical Sciences Centre, Imperial College School of Medicine, Hammersmith Hospital, London, UK.


Endochondral bone formation, the formation of calcified bone on a cartilage scaffold, occurs during skeletal development, post natal growth and during bone remodelling and fracture repair. The epiphyseal growth plates represent classical tissues in which to study the ossification process, which requires two co-ordinated components; progressive chondrocyte differentiation and cartilage neovascularisation. Many gene knockout studies have produced new insights regarding how chondrocyte differentiation and angiogenesis are controlled at the molecular level. Additional genetic studies have produced new information regarding the role of hormones in the regulation of endochondral bone formation. The new challenge for the future is to determine how bone formation and turnover is physiologically regulated and co-ordinated to ensure that skeletal development and growth progresses correctly. This study reviews the emerging data in this quickly growing field which should ultimately provide fundamental insights into the normal control of endochondral ossification.

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