IGFBP5 is a potential regulator of craniofacial skeletogenesis

Nicoletta Bobola, Bettina Engist

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Six known proteins bind to the insulin-like growth factor (IGF) with high affinity. Igfbp5 encodes one of these proteins, which regulates the activity of IGF, but also exerts IGF-independent actions. Using in situ hybridization to detect cells expressing Igfbp5 mRNA, we show that Igfbp5 is expressed in a dynamic pattern in the mouse embryonic craniofacial region. At early stages corresponding to the completion of neural crest migration, Igfbp5 mRNA was found predominantly in the epithelia, whereas when the craniofacial mesenchyme has begun its differentiation into skeletal tissue, Igfbp5-expressing cells surrounded the developing cartilages and bones. Embryos transgenically expressing Igfbp5 in restricted areas of the mesenchyme fated to form craniofacial bones revealed decreased ossification and even deletion of head bones areas. Transgenic expression of a mutant Igfbp5, encoding a product with reduced binding affinity for IGF, led to no skeletal abnormalities, suggesting that the observed negative effects on skeletal development rely on a mechanism that depends on binding to IGF. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)52-59
    Number of pages7
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2008


    • Craniofacial
    • Development
    • Embryo
    • IGF
    • IGFBP5
    • Mouse
    • Skeleton


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