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    The growth plate is a cartilaginous tissue found at the ends of growing long bones, which contributes to the lengthening of bones during development. This unique structure contains at least three distinctive layers, including resting, proliferative, and hypertrophic chondrocyte zones, maintained by a complex regulatory network. Due to its soft tissue nature, the growth plate is the most susceptible tissue of the growing skeleton to injury in childhood. Although most growth plate damage in fractures can heal, some damage can result in growth arrest or disorder, impairing leg length and resulting in deformity. In this review, we re-visit previously established knowledge about the regulatory network that maintains the growth plate and integrate current research displaying the most recent progress. Next, we highlight local secretary factors, such as Wnt, Indian hedgehog (Ihh), and parathyroid hormone-related peptide (PTHrP), and dissect their roles and interactions in maintaining cell function and phenotype in different zones. Lastly, we discuss future research topics that can further our understanding of this unique tissue. Given the unmet need to engineer the growth plate, we also discuss the potential of creating particular patterns of soluble factors and generating them in vitro.


    Yiqian Zhang, Xenab Ahmadpoor, Hang Lin. Roles of Local Soluble Factors in Maintaining the Growth Plate: An Update. Genes. 2023 Feb 21;14(3)

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    PMID: 36980807

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