Chondrocytes Directly Transform into Bone Cells in Mandibular Condyle Growth

September 15th, 2015

The current school of thought on bone formation in the mandibular condyle, the rounded knob where the mandible and upper jaw meet, is that cartilage cells — called chondrocytes — must form and then experience cell death before bone cells can form.

A paper from Texas A&M University Baylor College of Dentistry researchers, published in the September issue of the Journal of Dental Research, builds upon previous findings that this is not the case. The current work suggests that these cartilage cells can directly transform into bone cells.

A previous paper, published in fall 2014, also in the Journal of Dental Research, focused on the role of osterix, a gene vital for bone mineralization, in formation of the condyle.

Citation: Jin Y, Zhou X, Han X, Jing J, von der Mark K, Wang J, de Crombugghe B, Hinton R, Feng J. Chondrocytes directly transform into bone cells in mandibular condyle growth. Journal of Dental Research 2015 September; 94(9). doi: 10.1177/0022034515598135.

— Jennifer Fuentes