Connective tissue growth factor/hypertrophic chondrocyte-specific gene product 24 (CTGF/Hcs24) is a multifunctional growth factor for fibroblasts, chondrocytes, and vascular endothelial cells. In the present study, we established transgenic (Tg) mice that overproduce CTGF/Hcs24 under the control of mouse type XI collagen promoter. Tg mice could develop and their embryonic and neonatal growth occurred normally. But they showed dwarfism within a few months of birth. X-ray analysis revealed that their bone density was decreased compared with normal mice. The femurs in the hindlimbs in particular showed an apparent low density. These results indicated that overexpression of CTGF/Hcs24 affects certain steps of endochondral ossification. In addition, the testes were much smaller than normal and fertility was affected in Tg mice, indicating that CTGF/Hcs24 may also regulate the embryonic development of the testis.
Copyright 2001 Academic Press.