Ontogenetic limb bone scaling in basic fibroblast growth factor (FGF-2) transgenic mice

P. S. Lightfoot, R. Swisher, J. D. Coffin, T. C. Doetschman, R. Z. German

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Basic fibroblast growth factor (FGF-2) is a potent mitogen which is required for normal development, particularly the development of the skeletal system, where the inhibition of FGF binding to its receptor results in various skeletal malformations. The present study employed a newly engineered line of FGF-2 transgenic mice to determine the effects of overexpressing FGF-2 on limb bone ontogeny. We collected radiographic and weight data longitudinally and obtained the length, proximal, distal, and minimum diaphyseal widths of the humerus, femur, and tibia. Because growth is nonlinear with respect to time, we used the Gompertz mathematical model to obtain parameters describing rate and timing for each individual for each measurement. Differences in the parameters due to genotype and sex were subsequently tested with ANOVA. Transgenic animals exhibited consistently shorter limb bones which were generally wider at the epiphyses than those of controls. Parameters of early growth, including initial size and proportional rate of growth, appeared to be most directly responsible for significant differences in final size; however, exponential decay of growth was also a marginally significant factor. There were no differences between the genotypes in body weight, indicating that the shape anomalies observed in transgenic mice were a direct result of the action of FGF-2 rather than a general runting phenomenon.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)127-139
Number of pages13
JournalGrowth, Development and Aging
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 1997


  • FGF-2
  • Growth
  • Heterochrony
  • Limbs
  • Scaling
  • Transgenic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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