Activin A increases the bone mass of grafted bone in C3H/HeJ mice

H. Hirotani, M. Ohtsuka-Isoya, S. Mori, R. Sakai, Y. Eto, S. Echigo, H. Shinoda

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18 Citations (Scopus)


Activin A, a member of the TGF-β super-family, is abundant in bone matrix, but little is known about its physiological role in bone metabolism. The present study was undertaken to determine whether topical activin A can increase the bone mass of isografted bone. The tibiae were bilaterally dissected from a donor C3H/HeJ mouse and transplanted subcutaneously in the dorsal region of a recipient mouse. One isografted tibia was topically infused for either 1, 2, 3, or 4 weeks with activin A, using an osmotic minipump at a dose of 0.02, 0.2, or 2 ng/hr. The other tibia was infused with 0.9% NaCl (control). The following results were obtained: (1) Topical activin A (2 ng/hr) stimulated periosteal bone formation after 2 or 3 weeks. The bone area in a standardized transverse section averaged 1.3 fold that in the control. (2) Numerous cuboidal or conical osteoblasts appeared on the surface of newly formed bone after the infusion of activin A for 2 or 3 weeks. Autoradiographic studies using 3H-proline revealed that the surface area of newly formed bone labelled with autoradiographic silver grains was greater in activin A-treated bone than in the control, suggesting an increased synthesis and secretion of collagen by osteoblasts. (3) Topical activin A increased the number of osteoclasts after 2 to 4 weeks. Furthermore, enhanced or increased bone resorption was observed in the projected anterior site of activin A-treated bone after 4 weeks. These results suggest that topical activin A increases the bone mass of isografted bone by increasing bone turnover.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)330-338
Number of pages9
JournalCalcified Tissue International
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2002 Apr 1


  • Activin A
  • Bone formation
  • Isografting
  • Osteoblast
  • Osteoclast

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Endocrinology


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