Nutrition-induced catch-up growth increases hypoxia inducible factor 1α RNA levels in the growth plate

N. Even-Zohar, J. Jacob, N. Amariglio, G. Rechavi, O. Potievsky, M. Phillip*, G. Gat-Yablonski

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although catch-up growth is a well-known phenomenon, the local pathways at the epiphyseal growth plate that govern this process remain poorly understood. To study the mechanisms governing catch-up growth in the growth plate, we subjected prepubertal rats to 10 days of 40% food restriction, followed by a renewal of the regular food supply to induce catch-up growth. The animals were weighed daily, and their humeral length was measured at sacrifice. The proximal tibial epiphyseal growth plates (EGPs) were studied, and findings were compared with EGPs from animals fed ad libitum and animals under food restriction. The gene expression profile in the growth plates was examined using DNA microarrays, and the expression levels of selected genes were validated by real-time polymerase chain reaction. To localize gene expression in different growth plate zones, microdissection was used. Protein levels and localization were examined using immunohistochemistry. We showed that the expression level of 550 genes decreased during food restriction and increased during catch-up growth, starting already one day after refeeding. HIF-1α, as well as several of its downstream targets, was found among these genes. Immunohistochemistry showed a similar pattern for HIF-1α protein abundance. Additionally, HIF-1α mRNA and protein levels were higher in the proliferating than in the hypertrophic zone, and this distribution was unaffected by nutritional status. These findings indicate that nutrition has a profound effect on gene expression level during growth plate growth, and suggest an important role for HIF-1α in the growth plate and its response to nutritional manipulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)505-515
Number of pages11
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2008


FundersFunder number
Ministry of Justice, Israel
Israel Science Foundation3-2036


    • Catch-up growth
    • Food restriction
    • Growth plate
    • HIF-1α
    • Nutrition


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