Objective: Abnormal maturation and ossification of the endplate chondrocytes play a central role in the pathogenesis of degenerative disorders of the cervical spine. It is widely held that insulin like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) stimulates chondrocyte proliferation and inhibits chondrocyte terminal differentiation both in vitro and in vivo. However, the mechanism underlying such regulation is not fully understood. The present study aimed to determine the role of IGF-1 on the mRNA expression of collagen type II, alpha 1 (Col2a1) and matrix metallopeptidase 13 (MMP-13) in rat endplate chondrocytes. The possible pathways that transduce IGF-1 effects such as phosphatidylinositol-3 (PI-3)-kinase (PI3K) and mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) were also investigated in these cells. Methods: Cultured endplate chondrocytes harvested from rat cervical spines were treated with IGF-1 (100 ng/ml), and the changes in Col2a1 and MMP-13 mRNA were monitored with real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). MMP-13 activity was also assayed. Activation of signaling proteins was evaluated by western blot analysis. Cells were also treated with pharmacological agents that block PI3K and MAPK signaling pathways. Results: IGF-1 increased Col2a1 mRNA expression in rat endplate chondrocytes in a time- and dose-dependent manner. IGF-1 treatment resulted in a fourfold increase of Col2a1 mRNA with the effect maximizing at 24 h. In contrast, IGF-1 treatment for 24 h caused a roughly 50% reduction in MMP-13 mRNA. Similar effects were seen on the protein levels of type II collagen (col2) and MMP-13. Consistent with these results, IGF-1 also repressed MMP-13 activity. IGF-1 activated both the PI3K and the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) pathways as evidenced by phosphorylation of either Akt or ERK1/2 (respectively). The PI3K inhibitor Wartmannin significantly inhibited the IGF-1 effect on Col2a1 mRNA expression but did not affect IGF-1-induced repression of MMP-13 expression. In contrast, the ERK/MAPK inhibitor PD98059 significantly inhibited the effect of IGF-1 on MMP-13 mRNA repression and enhanced IGF-1-induced Col2a1 mRNA expression. Conclusions: In rat endplate chondrocytes the PI3K pathway mainly transduces IGF-1 effect on col2 expression while the ERK pathway mediates IGF-1 effect on MMP-13 expression. © 2008 Osteoarthritis Research Society International.
Zhang, M., Zhou, Q., Liang, Q. Q., Li, C. G., Holz, J. D., Tang, D., … Wang, Y. J. (2009). IGF-1 regulation of type II collagen and MMP-13 expression in rat endplate chondrocytes via distinct signaling pathways. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage, 17(1), 100–106. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.joca.2008.05.007