The growth of the bones is a very complex process driven to a large extent by the controlled swelling of cells in the growth plate. The aim of this project was to clarify the mechanisms involved with particular emphasis on the membrane transporters likely to be involved.
We all know that when we are young bones get longer as we grow. However we know very little about the processes that control this and what goes wrong in diseases. Scientists have shown that a large part of bone growth is driven by the swelling of cells in an area of bone called the growth plate. In this project we studied this process in detail and demonstrated that the movement of substances into the cells is a major controller of bone growth.
1. Methods were developed for studying the factors which control bone growth. These included a culture technique, imaging of cells within the growth plate and histological and immunohistochemical techniques.
2. Several key factors were identified which play important roles in controlling bone growth. The role of several membrane transporters were studied, and it was shown that by blocking these bone growth could be suppressed.