Bone morphogenetic proteins are expressed by both bone-forming and non-bone-forming lesions.
CONTEXT: Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) are thought to be responsible for bone formation; they cause bone to form in soft tissues and are clinically used in helping fracture union or tumor reconstructions. Skeletal metastases from epithelial tumors may be either bone-forming (blastic) or non-bone-forming (lytic). OBJECTIVE: We studied the expression of BMPs in a variety of primary and secondary lesions of bone (both bone-forming and non-bone-forming) to determine if there was a consistent relationship between bone formation and BMP expression. DESIGN: We compared a bone-forming lesion (fibrous dysplasia) with a non-bone-forming lesion (desmoid tumor), using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, Northern blot analysis, and immunohistochemistry to detect BMPs. We also studied a number of non-bone-forming secondary lesions (carcinomas that formed lytic metastases to the skeleton) and found BMP production in most of these tumors. RESULTS: We found that BMPs were expressed in both bone-forming and non-bone-forming benign musculoskeletal lesions. In the first part of the study, BMPs were found in both fibrous dysplasia and desmoid tumors. Bone morphogenetic proteins were also expressed by several tumors. In the next part of the study (paraffin-embedded tissue), BMPs were expressed by a variety of tumors, irrespective of the radiological nature (blastic or lytic) of their metastases. CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that BMP production alone cannot explain bone formation, and other factors either alone or in combination may be responsible for blastic metastases to the skeleton and for bone formation by primary bone lesions, such as fibrous dysplasia.
Khurana, JS; Ogino, S; Shen, T; Parekh, H; Scherbel, U; DeLong, W; Feldman, MD; Zhang, PJ; Wolfe, HJ; Alman, BA
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