Longitudinal bone growth is determined by endochondral ossification that occurs as chondrocytes in the cartilaginous growth plate undergo proliferation, hypertrophy, cell death, and osteoblastic replacement. The natriuretic peptide family consists of three structurally related endogenous ligands, atrial, brain, and C-type natriuretic peptides (ANP, BNP, and CNP), and is thought to be involved in a variety of homeostatic processes. To investigate the physiological significance of CNP in vivo, we generated mice with targeted disruption of CNP (Nppc-/- mice). The Nppc-/- mice show severe dwarfism as a result of impaired endochondral ossification. They are all viable perinatally, but less than half can survive during postnatal development. The skeletal phenotypes are histologically similar to those seen in patients with achondroplasia, the most common genetic form of human dwarfism. Targeted expression of CNP in the growth plate chondrocytes can rescue the skeletal defect of Nppc-/- mice and allow their prolonged survival. This study demonstrates that CNP acts locally as a positive regulator of endochondral ossification in vivo and suggests its pathophysiological and therapeutic implication in some forms of skeletal dysplasia.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|Publication status||Published - Mar 27 2001|
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