Epiphyseal Chondrocyte Secondary Ossification Centers Require Thyroid Hormone Activation of Indian Hedgehog and Osterix Signaling

Authors

  • Weirong Xing,

    1. Musculoskeletal Disease Center, Jerry L. Pettis Memorial VA Medical Center, Loma Linda, CA, USA
    2. Department of Medicine, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Shaohong Cheng,

    1. Musculoskeletal Disease Center, Jerry L. Pettis Memorial VA Medical Center, Loma Linda, CA, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Jon Wergedal,

    1. Musculoskeletal Disease Center, Jerry L. Pettis Memorial VA Medical Center, Loma Linda, CA, USA
    2. Department of Medicine, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Subburaman Mohan

    1. Musculoskeletal Disease Center, Jerry L. Pettis Memorial VA Medical Center, Loma Linda, CA, USA
    2. Department of Medicine, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA, USA
    Search for more papers by this author

Address correspondence to: Subburaman Mohan, PhD, Musculoskeletal Disease Center, Jerry L. Pettis Memorial VA Medical Center, 11201 Benton Street (151), Loma Linda, CA 92357, USA. E-mail: Subburaman.mohan@va.gov

ABSTRACT

Thyroid hormones (THs) are known to regulate endochondral ossification during skeletal development via acting directly in chondrocytes and osteoblasts. In this study, we focused on TH effects on the secondary ossification center (SOC) because the time of appearance of SOCs in several species coincides with the time when peak levels of TH are attained. Accordingly, micro–computed tomography (µCT) evaluation of femurs and tibias at day 21 in TH-deficient and control mice revealed that endochondral ossification of SOCs is severely compromised owing to TH deficiency and that TH treatment for 10 days completely rescued this phenotype. Staining of cartilage and bone in the epiphysis revealed that whereas all of the cartilage is converted into bone in the prepubertal control mice, this conversion failed to occur in the TH-deficient mice. Immunohistochemistry studies revealed that TH treatment of thyroid stimulating hormone receptor mutant (Tshr−/−) mice induced expression of Indian hedgehog (Ihh) and Osx in type 2 collagen (Col2)-expressing chondrocytes in the SOC at day 7, which subsequently differentiate into type 10 collagen (Col10)/osteocalcin-expressing chondro/osteoblasts at day 10. Consistent with these data, treatment of tibia cultures from 3-day-old mice with 10 ng/mL TH increased expression of Osx, Col10, alkaline phosphatase (ALP), and osteocalcin in the epiphysis by sixfold to 60-fold. Furthermore, knockdown of the TH-induced increase in Osx expression using lentiviral small hairpin RNA (shRNA) significantly blocked TH-induced ALP and osteocalcin expression in chondrocytes. Treatment of chondrogenic cells with an Ihh inhibitor abolished chondro/osteoblast differentiation and SOC formation. Our findings indicate that TH regulates the SOC initiation and progression via differentiating chondrocytes into bone matrix–producing osteoblasts by stimulating Ihh and Osx expression in chondrocytes. © 2014 American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.

Ancillary