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The bone morphogenetic protein 5 (BMP5) participates in skeletal development but its direct effects on the function of growth plate chondrocytes during chondrogenesis have not been explored. We have investigated the signaling pathways activated by BMP5 and its effect on chondrogenic differentiation in the ATDC5 growth plate chondrocyte model. BMP5 transiently activated p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and extracellular signal-regulated kinase signaling after 10 days of differentiation; sustained Smad and p38 MAPK signaling were seen after 15 days differentiation. All three pathways were activated by BMP5 in human adult articular chondrocytes. BMP5 alone and in combination with the chondrogenic enhancer, insulin, induced proteoglycan synthesis, aggrecan core protein 1 expression, and alkaline phosphatase activity. Upregulation of hypertrophic markers parathyroid receptor 1 and collagen type X alpha 1 occurred in BMP5-treated ATDC5 cultures. BMP5 is clearly chondrogenic and exhibits stage-specific regulation of multiple signaling pathways in this growth plate model. In particular, BMP5 accelerates expression of hypertrophy markers which is of relevance in both development and diseases such as osteoarthritis.

Original publication




Journal article


Growth Factors

Publication Date





268 - 279


Adult, Aggrecans, Alkaline Phosphatase, Bone Development, Bone Morphogenetic Protein 5, Cell Differentiation, Cell Line, Tumor, Chondrocytes, Chondrogenesis, Collagen, Extracellular Signal-Regulated MAP Kinases, Growth Plate, Humans, Insulin, MAP Kinase Signaling System, Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases, Proteoglycans, Receptor, Parathyroid Hormone, Type 1, Signal Transduction, Smad Proteins, p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases