Targeting local lymphatics to ameliorate heterotopic ossification via FGFR3-BMPR1a pathway. Academic Article uri icon


  • Acquired heterotopic ossification (HO) is the extraskeletal bone formation after trauma. Various mesenchymal progenitors are reported to participate in ectopic bone formation. Here we induce acquired HO in mice by Achilles tenotomy and observe that conditional knockout (cKO) of fibroblast growth factor receptor 3 (FGFR3) in Col2+ cells promote acquired HO development. Lineage tracing studies reveal that Col2+ cells adopt fate of lymphatic endothelial cells (LECs) instead of chondrocytes or osteoblasts during HO development. FGFR3 cKO in Prox1+ LECs causes even more aggravated HO formation. We further demonstrate that FGFR3 deficiency in LECs leads to decreased local lymphatic formation in a BMPR1a-pSmad1/5-dependent manner, which exacerbates inflammatory levels in the repaired tendon. Local administration of FGF9 in Matrigel inhibits heterotopic bone formation, which is dependent on FGFR3 expression in LECs. Here we uncover Col2+ lineage cells as an origin of lymphatic endothelium, which regulates local inflammatory microenvironment after trauma and thus influences HO development via FGFR3-BMPR1a pathway. Activation of FGFR3 in LECs may be a therapeutic strategy to inhibit acquired HO formation via increasing local lymphangiogenesis.

published proceedings

  • Nat Commun

altmetric score

  • 0.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Zhang, D., Huang, J., Sun, X., Chen, H., Huang, S., Yang, J., ... Xie, Y.

citation count

  • 2

complete list of authors

  • Zhang, Dali||Huang, Junlan||Sun, Xianding||Chen, Hangang||Huang, Shuo||Yang, Jing||Du, Xiaolan||Tan, Qiaoyan||Luo, Fengtao||Zhang, Ruobin||Zhou, Siru||Jiang, Wanling||Ni, Zhenhong||Wang, Zuqiang||Jin, Min||Xu, Meng||Li, Fangfang||Chen, Liang||Liu, Mi||Su, Nan||Luo, Xiaoqing||Yin, Liangjun||Zhu, Ying||Feng, Jerry Q||Chen, Di||Qi, Huabing||Chen, Lin||Xie, Yangli

publication date

  • July 2021