Lysophosphatidic acid signaling promotes proliferation, differentiation, and cell survival in rat growth plate chondrocytes

J. Hurst-Kennedy, B. D. Boyan, Z. Schwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Growth plate cartilage is responsible for long bone growth in children and adolescents and is regulated by vitamin D metabolites in a cell zone-specific manner. Resting zone chondrocytes (RC cells) are regulated by 24,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 via a phospholipase D-dependent pathway, suggesting downstream phospholipid metabolites are involved. In this study, we showed that 24R,25(OH)2D3 stimulates rat costochondral RC chondrocytes to release lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) and, therefore sought to determine the role of LPA signaling in these cells. RC cells expressed the G-protein coupled receptors LPA1-5 and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPAR-γ). LPA and the LPA1/3 selective agonist OMPT increased proliferation and two maturation markers, alkaline phosphatase activity and [35S]-sulfate incorporation. LPA and 24R,25(OH)2D3's effects were inhibited by the LPA1/3 selective antagonist VPC32183(S). Furthermore, apoptosis induced by either inorganic phosphate or chelerythrine was attenuated by LPA, based on DNA fragmentation, TUNEL staining, caspase-3 activity, and Bcl-2:Bax protein ratio. LPA prevented apoptotic signaling by decreasing the abundance, nuclear localization, and transcriptional activity of the tumor-suppressor p53. LPA treatment also regulated the expression of the p53-target genes Bcl-2 and Bax to enhance cell survival. Collectively, these data suggest that LPA promotes differentiation and survival in RC chondrocytes, demonstrating a novel physiological function of LPA-signaling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)836-846
Number of pages11
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Cell Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2009


  • Chondrocyte maturation and apoptosis
  • Growth plate cartilage
  • LPA receptor
  • Lysophosphatidic acid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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