Runx2 is required for postnatal intervertebral disc tissue growth and development

Lifan Liao, Hua Jiang, Yunshan Fan, Ronald S. Lu, Changli Wei, Takeshi Takarada, Shisheng He, Di Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Runx2 plays an essential role in embryonic disc tissue development in mice. However, the role of runt-related transcription factor 2 (Runx2) in postnatal disc tissue growth and development has not been defined. In the present studies, we generated Runx2 conditional knockout (KO) mice (Runx2 Agc1ER ), in which Runx2 was deleted in Aggrecan-expressing cells in disc tissue at postnatal 2-weeks of age. We then analyzed changes in disc tissue growth and development using histology and immunohistochemical methods in 3-month-old mice. We found that large vacuolated notochordal cells were accumulated in the nucleus pulposus (NP) in Runx2 KO mice. The growth plate cartilage tissue in the disc was thicker in Runx2 KO mice. We also found a significant upregulation of Indian hedgehog (Ihh) expression in the cells in NP cells and in annulus fibrosus cells of Runx2 KO mice. These results demonstrated that Runx2 may play an important role in postnatal disc tissue development through interacting with Ihh signaling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6679-6687
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Cellular Physiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Indian hedgehog (Ihh)
  • growth plate (GP) cartilage
  • intervertebral disc (IVD)
  • notochordal cells
  • runt-related transcription factor 2 (Runx2)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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