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Spatial regulation of gene expression during growth of articular cartilage in juvenile mice.

Pediatric research (2014-12-19)
Julian C Lui, Michael Chau, Weiping Chen, Crystal S F Cheung, Jeffrey Hanson, Jaime Rodriguez-Canales, Ola Nilsson, Jeffrey Baron
ABSTRACT

In juvenile mammals, the epiphyses of long bones grow by chondrogenesis within the articular cartilage. A better understanding of the molecular mechanisms that regulate the growth of articular cartilage may give insight into the antecedents of joint disease, such as osteoarthritis. We used laser capture microdissection to isolate chondrocytes from the superficial, middle, and deep zones of growing tibial articular cartilage in the 1-wk-old mouse and then investigated expression patterns by microarray. To identify molecular markers for each zone of the growing articular cartilage, we found genes showing zone-specific expression and confirmed by real-time PCR and in situ hybridization. Bioinformatic analyses implicated ephrin receptor signaling, Wnt signaling, and bone morphogenetic protein signaling in the spatial regulation of chondrocyte differentiation during growth. Molecular markers were identified for superficial (e.g., Cilp, Prg4), middle (Cxcl14, Tnn), and deep zones (Sfrp5, Frzb). Comparison between juvenile articular and growth plate cartilage revealed that the superficial-to-deep zone transition showed similarity with the hypertrophic-to-resting zone transition. Laser capture microdissection combined with microarray analysis identified novel signaling pathways that are spatially regulated in growing mouse articular cartilage and revealed similarities between the molecular architecture of the growing articular cartilage and that of growth plate cartilage.

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