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Exp Ther Med. 2017 Nov;14(5):4967-4971. doi: 10.3892/etm.2017.5186. Epub 2017 Sep 22.

Spatial and temporal expression of Smad signaling members during the development of mandibular condylar cartilage.

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Department of Stomatology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Dalian Medical University, Dalian, Liaoning 116023, P.R. China.
State Key Laboratory of Oral Diseases and Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, West China Hospital of Stomatology, Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan 610041, P.R. China.


The present study aimed to explore the underlying developmental mechanism of mothers against decapentaplegic homolog (Smad) signaling in the development of mandibular condylar cartilage. To achieve this, the expression levels of Smad2, 3, 4 and 7, and phosphorylated Smad2/3 were investigated at different time points in developing mandibular condylar cartilage. Mandibular condyles from C57BL/6J mice were dissected at the prenatal and postnatal stages. Serial sections were made and the distributions of Smad proteins were examined using immunohistochemical techniques intermittently between day 14.5 of gestation and postnatal day 7. All Smad proteins examined in the present study were expressed in the condylar blastema and during early chondrogenesis. At the postnatal stage, Smad2 and 4 were localized in proliferative and mineralized hypertrophic chondrocytes. Smad3 and 7 were expressed in proliferative and hypertrophic chondrocytes, including pre-hypertrophic and mineralized hypertrophic chondrocytes. Later, positive immunoreactivity of Smad3 reduced at postnatal day 7. A similar expression pattern to Smad3 was observed for p-Smad2/3, but p-Smad2/3 was located in the nuclei of proliferative chondrocytes. These results suggest that Smad signaling members are involved in the development of mandibular condylar cartilage. In addition, the spatial and temporal expression of these Smads indicate that Smad signaling is involved in regulating the differentiation of chondrocytes and endochondral ossification, in order to maintain normal chondrogenesis and morphogenesis of mandibular condylar cartilage.


development; mandibular condylar cartilage; mothers against decapentaplegic homolog signaling pathway; temporomandibular joint; transforming growth factor β signaling

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