Rapid Growth of Cartilage Rudiments may Generate Perichondrial Structures by Mechanical Induction

  • J. H. Henderson
  • L. de la Fuente
  • D. Romero
  • C. I. Colnot
  • S. Huang
  • D. R. Carter
  • J. A. Helms
Original Paper


Experimental and theoretical research suggest that mechanical stimuli may play a role in morphogenesis. We investigated whether theoretically predicted patterns of stress and strain generated during the growth of a skeletal condensation are similar to in vivo expression patterns of chondrogenic and osteogenic genes. The analysis showed that predicted patterns of compressive hydrostatic stress (pressure) correspond to the expression patterns of chondrogenic genes, and predicted patterns of tensile strain correspond to the expression patterns of osteogenic genes. Furthermore, the results of iterative application of the analysis suggest that stresses and strains generated by the growing condensation could promote the formation and refinement of stiff tissue surrounding the condensation, a prediction that is in agreement with an observed increase in collagen bundling surrounding the cartilage condensation, as indicated by picro-sirius red staining. These results are consistent with mechanical stimuli playing an inductive or maintenance role in the developing cartilage and associated perichondrium and bone collar. This theoretical analysis provides insight into the potential importance of mechanical stimuli during the growth of skeletogenic condensations.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. H. Henderson
    • 1
  • L. de la Fuente
    • 2
  • D. Romero
    • 2
  • C. I. Colnot
    • 2
  • S. Huang
    • 2
  • D. R. Carter
    • 1
    • 3
  • J. A. Helms
    • 2
    • 4
  1. 1.Biomechanical Engineering Division, Mechanical Engineering DepartmentStanford UniversityStanfordUSA
  2. 2.Department of Orthopaedic SurgeryUniversity of CaliforniaSan FranciscoUSA
  3. 3.Rehabilitation R&D CenterVA Palo Alto Health Care SystemPalo AltoUSA
  4. 4.The Department of Plastic and Reconstructive SurgeryStanford University School of MedicineStanfordUSA

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