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Critical Reviews™ in Eukaryotic Gene Expression
IF: 1.841 5-Year IF: 1.927 SJR: 0.649 SNIP: 0.516 CiteScore™: 1.96

ISSN Print: 1045-4403
ISSN Online: 2162-6502

Critical Reviews™ in Eukaryotic Gene Expression

DOI: 10.1615/CritRevEukaryotGeneExpr.v13.i24.110
14 pages

Perspective. Osteoclastogenesis and Growth Plate Chondrocyte Differentiation: Emergence of Convergence

Paul R. Odgren
Dept. of Cell Biology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA 01655
William M. Philbrick
Department of Internal Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06510
Alison Gartland
University of Massachusetts Medical School, Department of Cell Biology, Worcester, MA 01655


A "bone" is really a dynamic and highly interactive complex of many cell and tissue types. In particular, for the majority of skeletal elements to develop and grow, the process of endochondral ossification requires a constantly moving interface between cartilage, invading blood vessels, and bone. A great deal has been learned in recent years about the regulation of chondrocyte proliferation and differentiation by hormones, growth factors, and physiologic stimuli during skeletal development and growth. Likewise, the discovery that colony stimulating factor-1 (CSF-1, or M-CSF) and receptor activator of NF-kB ligand (RANKL, a tumor necrosis factor superfamily member also called TRANCE, ODF, OPGL, and TNFSF11) are pivotal in communicating from osteoblasts to osteoclasts has led to deeper insights into bone growth, turnover, and maintenance. Little is known, however, about how these two quite different systems communicate to solve the problem of providing integrated, continuous mechanical support during the dynamic invasion of cartilage by bone that characterizes endochondral bone growth. Evidence has accumulated in recent years that provides insight into the communication between growing bone and cartilage in the form of a subset of osteopetrotic mutations, which share a lack of osteoclasts and an accompanying chondrodysplasia of the growth plate. These mutations thus implicate some of the same gene products in regulating chondrocyte differentiation and bone resorption. We also consider expression studies of some known growth plate regulators, such as parathyroid hormonerelated protein (PTHrP) and Indian hedgehog (Ihh), in light of this and propose a model in which the osteoclastogenic factors act also on chondrocytes, but downstream of PTRrP and Ihh in regulating proliferation and differentiation, and after early morphogenic patterns are established.

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