Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

How Tendons Shape Developing Bones

14.01.2010
Bones, muscles and tendons work together to provide the perfect balance between stability and movement in the skeleton. Now, Weizmann Institute scientists show that this partnership begins in the embryo, when the bones are still taking shape. The study, published in a recent issue of Developmental Cell, describes a previously unrecognized interaction between tendons and bones that drives the development of a strong skeletal system.

‘Our skeleton, with its bones, joints and muscle connections serves us so well in our daily lives that we hardly pay attention to this extraordinary system,’ says Dr. Elazar Zelzer of the Weizmann Institute’s Molecular Genetics Department. ‘Although previous research has uncovered mechanisms that contribute to the development and growth of each component of this complex and wonderfully adaptable organ system, specific interactions between bones, muscles and tendons that drive the assembly of the musculoskeletal system are not fully understood.’

Zelzer, research student Einat Blitz, Sergey Viukov and colleagues, were interested in uncovering the molecular mechanisms that regulate the formation of bone ridges – bony protuberances that provide a stable anchoring point for the tendons that connect muscles with bones. Bone ridges are critical for the skeleton’s ability to cope with the considerable mechanical stresses exerted by the muscles. The researchers used embryonic mouse skeletons to study a bone ridge called the deltoid tuberosity, located on the humerus bone in the arm.

They discovered, to their surprise, that rather than being shaped by processes within the skeleton, bone-ridge formation was directly regulated by tendons and muscles in a two-phase procedure. First, the embryonic tendons initiated bone-ridge formation by attaching to the skeleton. This interaction induced the tendon cells to express a specific protein called scleraxis, which in turn, led to the production of another protein, BMP4 – a molecule involved in the onset of bone formation. Blocking BMP4 production in tendon cells prevented deltoid tuberosity bone ridge formation. In the second phase, the subsequent growth and ultimate size of the deltoid tuberosity was directly regulated by muscle activity.

The results demonstrate that tendons play an active role in initiating bone ridge patterning. Zelzer: ‘These findings provide a new perspective on the regulation of skeletogenesis in the context of the musculoskeletal system, and they shed light on an important mechanism that underlies the assembly of this system.’

Dr. Elazar Zelzer’s research is supported by the Y. Leon Benoziyo Institute for Molecular Medicine; the Helen and Martin Kimmel Institute for Stem Cell Research; the Kirk Center for Childhood Cancer and Immunological Disorders; the David and Fela Shapell Family Center for Genetic Disorders Research; the estate of Rubin Feryszka; the estate of George Liebert; and the estate of Lela London. Dr. Zelzer is the incumbent of the Martha S. Sagon Career Development Chair.

The Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, is one of the world's top-ranking multidisciplinary research institutions. Noted for its wide-ranging exploration of the natural and exact sciences, the Institute is home to 2,600 scientists, students, technicians and supporting staff. Institute research efforts include the search for new ways of fighting disease and hunger, examining leading questions in mathematics and computer science, probing the physics of matter and the universe, creating novel materials and developing new strategies for protecting the environment.

Weizmann Institute news releases are posted on the World Wide Web at http://wis-wander.weizmann.ac.il/, and are also available at http://www.eurekalert.org/.

Yivsam Azgad | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://wis-wander.weizmann.ac.il/
http://www.weizmann.ac.il

Further reports about: BMP4 Molecular Target Tendons cell death disorders molecular mechanism

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Discovery of a Key Regulatory Gene in Cardiac Valve Formation
24.05.2017 | Universität Basel

nachricht Carcinogenic soot particles from GDI engines
24.05.2017 | Empa - Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Physicists discover mechanism behind granular capillary effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Measured for the first time: Direction of light waves changed by quantum effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>