Triiodothyronine stimulates cartilage growth and maturation by different mechanisms

Published

Journal Article

The mechanisms by which triiodothyronine (T3) stimulates growth and maturation of growth-plate cartilage in vitro were studied by incubating embryonic chick pelvic cartilages in serum-free medium in the presence and absence of T3 for 3 days. To determine whether T3 might stimulate production of somatomedins by the cartilage, medium from cartilage incubated with and without T3 was assayed for somatomedin C (Sm-C) by radioimmunoassay. No difference in Sm-C content was found. However, cartilage incubated with T3 and increasing amounts of human Sm-C (0.5-20 ng/ml) weighed more and had greater amounts of glycosaminoglycan than cartilage incubated in the same concentrations of Sm-C without T3, suggesting that T3 enhances the growth effect of somatomedin. We added a monoclonal antibody to Sm-C (anti-Sm-C) to the organ culture to determine whether T3's stimulatory effect on cartilage growth could be blocked. The anti-Sm-C inhibited growth of cartilage incubated in medium alone and blocked the growth response to T3. By using alkaline phosphatase as a biochemical marker to follow maturation, we found that T3 stimulated a 57% increase in alkaline phosphatase activity above cartilage incubated in medium alone and that anti-Sm-C did not inhibit T3's stimulatory effect on alkaline phosphatase activity. We propose two different mechanisms by which T3 affects growth-plate cartilage: 1) T3 promotes cartilage growth primarily through enhancing the effect of somatomedin, and 2) T3 stimulates cartilage maturation possibly by accelerating the normal process of cartilage differentiation from proliferative to hypertrophic chondrocytes.

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Burch, WM; Van Wyk, JJ

Published Date

  • January 1, 1987

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 252 / 2

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0193-1849

Citation Source

  • Scopus