In vivo expression of transcripts encoding the Glvr-1 phosphate transporter/retrovirus receptor during bone development.Bone 1999; 24(1):1-7BONE
In vitro observations suggest that inorganic phosphate (Pi) transport plays an important functional role in osteogenic cells and in their matrix vesicles for the initiation of matrix calcification. Recent studies have shown that the type III sodium-dependent Pi transporters, Glvr-1 and Glvr-2, are expressed in human osteoblast-like cells and have suggested a potential role for type III transporters in regulated Pi handling in osteogenic cells. To address the relevance of these findings in the context of bone formation in vivo and, in particular, in relation to matrix calcification, we investigated expression of the Glvr-1 transporter by in situ hybridization in developing embryonic murine metatarsals, using human Glvr-1 cDNA as a probe. In this model of endochondral ossification, expression of transcripts encoding Glvr-1 could be detected from day 17 of embryonic development. A hybridization signal for Glvr-1 was specifically observed in a subset of hypertrophic chondrocytes and could not be detected in osteoblasts. The expression of Glvr-1 mRNA was compared with that of transcripts encoding extracellular matrix proteins. Glvr-1 mRNA expression was confined to a population of early hypertrophic chondrocytes expressing type X collagen and to slightly more mature cells that express transcripts encoding osteopontin but lack type X collagen mRNA. No Glvr-1 transcripts were detected in fully differentiated hypertrophic chondrocytes. This pattern of Glvr-1 mRNA expression was maintained throughout embryonic development until after birth. In conclusion, the Glvr-1 phosphate transporter is selectively expressed in a subset of hypertrophic chondrocytes during endochondral bone formation, in a region where matrix mineralization proceeds. This observation represents the first in vivo evidence consistent with a potential role for this phosphate transporter in matrix calcification.