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Dev Growth Differ. 2005 Feb;47(2):59-63.

Localization of Indian hedgehog and PTH/PTHrP receptor expression in relation to chondrocyte proliferation during mouse bone development.

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  • 1Endocrine Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02114, USA.


We have developed a useful approach to examine the pattern of gene expression in comparison to cell proliferation, using double in situ hybridization and immunofluorescence. Using this system, we examined the expression of Indian hedgehog (Ihh) and PTH/PTHrP receptor (PPR) mRNA in relation to chondrocyte proliferation during embryonic mouse bone development. Both genes are expressed strongly in prehypertrophic and early hypertrophic chondrocytes, and there is a strong correlation between upregulation of both Ihh and PPR expression and chondrocyte cell cycle arrest. At embryonic day (E14.5), PPR mRNA upregulation begins in the columnar chondrocytes just prior to cell cycle exit, but at later time points expression is only observed in the postproliferative region. In contrast, Ihh mRNA expression overlaps slightly with the region of columnar proliferating chondrocytes at all stages. This study provides further evidence that in the developing growth plate, cell cycle exit and upregulation of Ihh and PPR mRNA expression are coupled.

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