Mandibular condylar cartilage differs from primary cartilage in morphological organization of the chondrocytes and in responses to biomechanical stress and humoral factors. For the first time, we describe the expression of Bmp3 mRNA in relation to types I, II and X collagen mRNA (as determined by in situ hybridization) in chondrocytes of the rat mandibular condylar cartilage, femoral articular cartilage, femoral growth plate cartilage, and temporal cartilage, which transiently appeared in the reparative response stage of mandibular ramus fracture healing. In all cartilages evaluated, Bmp3 was expressed in proliferating chondrocytes that expressed type I collagen in condylar cartilage, articular cartilage, and temporal cartilage appearing during fracture healing. Bmp3 was also found in hypertrophic chondrocytes that expressed type X collagen mRNA in all cartilages evaluated. Furthermore, in remodeling bone, Bmp3 mRNA was strongly expressed in active osteoblast cells in periosteal reaction layers formed after fracture. These findings suggest that Bmp3 expression in a special layer of typical articular cartilage may be regulated by mechanical stress stimulation. We also found that Bmp3 was expressed in the periosteal layers of the bone segments near the fracture site during fracture healing.
- In situ hybridization
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