To clarify the roles of neurotrophins and their receptors in bone formation, expression of neurotrophins and their receptors (TRK) in a model of mouse fracture healing was investigated. A total of 120 male ICR mice were studied. The right eighth rib of 70 mice was fractured. For sham operation as a control, the right eighth rib of 50 mice was similarly exposed but not fractured. Localization of TRKA, TRKB, and TRKC in a rectangular region of the rib together with surrounding soft tissues was investigated by immunostaining. Localizations of nerve growth factor (NGF), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), and neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) at the fracture callus were also investigated by immunostaining, and their mitochondrial RNA (mRNA) expressions were investigated by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). As a result, we observed two types of neurotrophin receptors in the bone forming area: immunostaining by anti-TRKA was observed in almost all bone forming cells, and staining with anti-TRKC was observed in osteoblast-like cells and hypertrophic chondrocytes, but no staining was observed with anti-TRKB. On the other hand, localization of NGF was observed in almost all bone forming cells, localization of BDNF was observed in osteoblast-like cells, and localization of NT-3 was observed in osteoblast-like cells and hypertrophic chondrocytes at the fracture callus. Expression levels of the mRNA of three neurotrophins in the fractured rib were increased during the process of healing, especially those of NGF and NT-3, which peaked at 2 days after the fracture. The level of BDNF mRNA increased gradually over 8 days. These findings show that neurotrophins and their receptors were expressed in bone forming cells, and suggest that they are involved in the regulation of bone formation as an autocrine and paracrine factor in vivo. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Inc.
- Fracture healing
- Gene expression
- Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR)
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism