Membrane effects of sex hormones on growth plate chondrocytes
ElBaradie, Khairat Bahgat
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Understanding and studying the normal bone growth and development is causal. Bone and cartilage tissue provide in addition to their mechanical support, they provide a protection for vital organs such as heart, lung and brain. Longitudinal growth is regulated by the activity of chondrocytes in the epiphyseal growth plates of long bones. Many hormones and growth factors are involved in the regulation of this process. Among these, sex steroids are of crucial importance, especially during puberty. In long bones, endochondral bone formation occurs at the growth plate, a region of developing cartilage located between the epiphysis and the metaphysic. The process of endochondral ossification is regulated in part by sex steroid hormones. Androgens stimulate endochondral bone growth and elongation, while estrogen is known to suppress longitudinal bone growth and accelerate growth plate closure. Studies using rat costochondral growth plate chondrocytes as a model show that the effects of 17β-estradiol (E₂) on apoptosis are found in both male and female cells and the same mechanism is involved. In contrast, E₂ causes rapid activation of PKC in female cells but not in male cells. Dihydroxytestosterone (DHT) also has direct effects on growth plate chondrocytes, increasing matrix synthesis including sulfated glycosaminoglycan production, and enhancing cell maturation by increasing alkaline phosphatase enzymatic activity. Short stature and abnormally slow increase in height is one of the main reasons for referral to endocrinologist. Excessive growth and abnormally tall is also a problem, especially because it increase risk for the trunk abnormalities. Furthermore until now a few growth-promoting therapies are available for clinical use. Therefore future therapies for treating the growth disorders are essential. The overall goal of this project is to investigate the sexual-dimorphic effect of the sex steroid hormone in rat growth plate chondrocytes, the cellular signaling pathways mediating these actions, and their physiological role. The information gleaned from this study will provide new information about the role of sex steroid hormones in chondrogenesis and has implications in the development of new therapies for the treatment of bone fracture healing, and growth plate disorders. The central hypothesis was that sex steroid would play an important and sex-specific role in regulating chondrocytes as a main regulator of longitudinal bone growth.