Researchers have shown increased interest in determining what stimulates height. Currently, many children undergo precocious puberty, resulting in short stature due to premature closure of the growth plate. However, the current approach for height enhancement is limited to growth hormone treatment, which often results in side effects and clinical failure and is costly. Although recent studies have indicated the importance of paracrine signals in the growth plate for longitudinal bone growth, height-stimulating agents targeting the signaling pathways involved in growth plate maturation remain unavailable in the clinic. The Wnt/β-catenin pathway plays a major role in the maturation of growth plate chondrocytes. In this study, by using an ex vivo tibial culture system, we identified indirubin-3′-oxime (I3O) as a compound capable of enhancing longitudinal bone growth. I3O promoted chondrocyte proliferation and differentiation via activation of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway in vitro. Intraperitoneal injection of I3O in adolescent mice increased growth plate height along with incremental chondrocyte maturation. I3O promoted tibial growth without significant adverse effects on bone thickness and articular cartilage. Therefore, I3O could be a potential therapeutic agent for increasing height in children with growth retardation.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank D.-W. Kim for providing cells and equipment. This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korean Government (MSIP) (grants 2015R1A2A1A05001873, 2016R1A5A1004694, 2019R1A2C3002751). S.C., H.-Y.K., and P.-H.C. were supported by a BK21 PLUS program.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Medicine
- Molecular Biology
- Clinical Biochemistry