Markers of osteoblast differentiation in fusing and nonfusing cranial sutures PLASTIC AND RECONSTRUCTIVE SURGERY Nacamuli, R. P., Fong, K. D., Warren, S. M., Fang, T. D., Song, H. M., Helms, J. A., Longaker, M. T. 2003; 112 (5): 1328-1335


Accumulating clinical genetic data support the hypothesis that alterations in osteoblast differentiation are closely associated with craniosynostoses. Gain-of-function mutations in FGFR1, FGFR2, FGFR3, and Msx2 and loss-of-function mutations in Twist are examples of such alterations. Several studies have examined how these mutations alter the expression patterns for transcription factors such as Runx2 and noncollagenous extracellular matrix molecules such as osteopontin and osteocalcin. One limitation of such studies is that they examine samples derived from craniosynostotic patients with sutures that have already fused, thus missing the dynamic osteogenic process of suture fusion. In this study, in situ hybridization was used to localize Runx2, osteopontin, and osteocalcin expression in the sagittal and posterior frontal sutures in mice (n = 20), before (day 13), during (days 23, 33, and 43), and after (day 53) the period of physiological posterior frontal suture fusion. The data demonstrated similar patterns of expression in fusing (posterior frontal) and nonfusing (sagittal) sutures. The expression of all three genes was primarily concentrated in the osteogenic fronts of both sutures and decreased with time. Notably, none of the three genes was expressed in the mesenchyme of either fusing or nonfusing sutures. The data suggest that the molecular signals leading to bone formation along the osteogenic fronts in fusing and nonfusing sutures are similar, raising the possibility that other factors, such as antagonists of osteogenesis, might have a role in maintaining suture patency.

View details for DOI 10.1097/01.PRS.0000079826.24086.CD

View details for Web of Science ID 000220062700015

View details for PubMedID 14504516