Loss of Fgfr1 and Fgfr2 in Scleraxis-lineage cells leads to enlarged bone eminences and attachment cell death

Kendra K. Wernlé, Michael A. Sonnenfelt, Connor C. Leek, Elahe Ganji, Anna Lia Sullivan, Claudia Offutt, Jordan Shuff, David M. Ornitz, Megan L. Killian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Tendons and ligaments attach to bone are essential for joint mobility and stability in vertebrates. Tendon and ligament attachments (ie, entheses) are found at bony protrusions (ie, eminences), and the shape and size of these protrusions depend on both mechanical forces and cellular cues during growth. Tendon eminences also contribute to mechanical leverage for skeletal muscle. Fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR) signaling plays a critical role in bone development, and Fgfr1 and Fgfr2 are highly expressed in the perichondrium and periosteum of bone where entheses can be found. Results and Conclusions: We used transgenic mice for combinatorial knockout of Fgfr1 and/or Fgfr2 in tendon/attachment progenitors (ScxCre) and measured eminence size and shape. Conditional deletion of both, but not individual, Fgfr1 and Fgfr2 in Scx progenitors led to enlarged eminences in the postnatal skeleton and shortening of long bones. In addition, Fgfr1/Fgfr2 double conditional knockout mice had more variation collagen fibril size in tendon, decreased tibial slope, and increased cell death at ligament attachments. These findings identify a role for FGFR signaling in regulating growth and maintenance of tendon/ligament attachments and the size and shape of bony eminences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1180-1188
Number of pages9
JournalDevelopmental Dynamics
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2023


  • Mus musculus
  • enthesis
  • fibroblast growth factor
  • humerus
  • knee
  • musculoskeletal
  • postnatal
  • tendon


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