In vivo effects of human recombinant transforming growth factor β on bone turnover in normal mice

Christian Marcelli, A. John Yates, Gregory R. Mundy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

210 Scopus citations


Reports of the effects of TGF‐β on bone cells are conflicting and controversial. Different cell culture and organ culture models for both osteoblasts and osteoclasts have given different responses. In some the effects are dependent on prostaglandin synthesis, and in others they are prostaglandin independent. To determine the effects of TGF‐β on osteoblasts and osteoclasts in vivo and the role of prostaglandins in mediating these effects, we injected 2.5–5 μg TGF‐β into the subcutaneous tissue overlying the calvariae of normal mice for 2–5 days and compared the morphologic responses in underlying calvarial bone with those in mice injected with vehicle alone. TGF‐β treatment had no effect on plasma calcium concentration. However, TGF‐β caused a marked increase in periosteal thickness (fivefold) and cellularity, morphologic changes in osteoblasts, and new mineralized bone formation. These effects were localized to the site of injection and were partially inhibited by concomitant indomethacin treatment. There was a parallel increase in osteoclast numbers in adjacent marrow spaces, and the osteoclasts formed were unusually large. In contrast, no increase in the numbers of osteoclasts was seen in indomethacin‐treated animals. These data show that TGF‐β has powerful effects on local bone cell function in vivo and that these effects may be mediated, in part, by prostaglandin generation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1087-1096
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Bone and Mineral Research
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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