Direct stimulation of bone resorption by epidermal growth factor

Endocrinology. 1980 Jul;107(1):270-3. doi: 10.1210/endo-107-1-270.


Epidermal growth factor, isolated from mouse submaxillary glands (mEGF) and human urine (hEGF; urogastrone), and fibroblast growth (FGF) have been tested for their effect on bone resorption by measuring the release of previously incorporated 45Ca from cultured fetal rat long bone shafts. mEGF produced significant but slow stimulation of bone resorption which was maximal at 30 ng/ml and was not blocked by indomethacin, flufenamic acid, or R0 20-5720, structurally unrelated inhibitors of prostaglandins synthesis. mEGF increased thymidine incorporation in long bones at 1 ng/ml, a concentration which did not stimulate resorption. hEGF at 3-30 ng/ml produced a more rapid stimulation of resorption, which was also unaffected by inhibition of prostaglandin cyclooxygenase. Neither mEGF nor hEGF increased the concentration of prostaglandin E in the medium after 5 days of culture. FGF failed to stimulate resorption at concentrations of up to 1000 ng/ml. We conclude the EGF, but not FGF, is a direct stimulator of bone resorption. In contrast to the previously reported findings in mouse calvaria, this stimulation is not dependent on prostaglandin synthesis. Since there is abundant hEGF in human urine, this factor could be responsible for the calcium-mobilizing activity recently found in human urine concentrates.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone Resorption / drug effects*
  • Bone and Bones / drug effects
  • Bone and Bones / metabolism
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • DNA / biosynthesis
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Epidermal Growth Factor / pharmacology*
  • Fetus
  • Humans
  • Indomethacin / pharmacology
  • Mice
  • Organ Culture Techniques
  • Parathyroid Hormone / pharmacology
  • Peptides / pharmacology*
  • Rats


  • Parathyroid Hormone
  • Peptides
  • Epidermal Growth Factor
  • DNA
  • Calcium
  • Indomethacin