Differential regulation of MMPs and matrix assembly in chicken and turkey growth-plate chondrocytes

Stav Simsa, Aharon Hasdai, Harel Dan, Efrat Monsonego Ornan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) play a crucial role in growth-plate vascularization and ossification by processes involving proteolytic cleavage and remodeling of the extracellular matrix (ECM). Their regulation in the growth plate is crucial for normal vs. impaired matrix assembly. Tibial dyschondroplasia (TD), a prevalent skeletal abnormality in avian species, is characterized by the formation of a nonvascularized, nonmineralized plaque in the growth plate. Here, we show differential regulation of MMPs in cultured chondrocytes from chickens and turkeys; retinoic acid (RA) elevated MMP-2 activity in both species, but only in chicken did it induce MMP-9 activity. In contrast, phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) treatment induced MMP-9 activity in turkey chondrocytes but not in those of chicken. Moreover, we found different developmental patterns of TD in chickens and turkeys in-vivo as lower concentrations of, and shorter exposure to thiram were required in chicken than in turkey for TD induction. Growth-plate cartilage taken from thiram-induced lesions had lower gelatinolytic and caseinolytic activities compared with normal cartilage. Likewise, thiram reduced MMP-2 and MMP-13 activity in both chicken and turkey chondrocytes in vitro, although 10-fold higher concentrations were required for this effect in the latter. Finally, the combined treatments of RA or PMA with thiram induced MMP-9 activity in turkey but not in chicken chondrocytes. Furthermore, RA combined with thiram synergistically upregulated its activity in turkey but not chicken chondrocytes. Taken together, these results suggest that mechanisms of MMP regulation differ in the growth plates of these closely related avian species, resulting in altered matrix assembly as exemplified by TD development.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)R2216-R2224
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2007


  • Collagenase
  • Gelatinase
  • Phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate
  • Retinoic acid
  • Thiram
  • Tibial dyschondroplasia


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