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The Prrx1eGFP Mouse Labels the Periosteum During Development and a Subpopulation of Osteogenic Periosteal Cells in the Adult

Brown, Sarah; Malik, Saif; Aljammal, Maria; O'Flynn, Aine; Hobbs, Carl; Shah, Mittal; Roberts, Scott J; Logan, Malcolm PO


Sarah Brown

Saif Malik

Maria Aljammal

Aine O'Flynn

Carl Hobbs

Mittal Shah

Scott J Roberts

Malcolm PO Logan


The identity of the cells that form the periosteum during development is controversial with current dogma suggesting these are derived from a Sox9-positive progenitor. Herein, we characterize a newly created Prrx1eGFP reporter transgenic mouse line during limb formation and postnatally. Interestingly, in the embryo Prrx1eGFP-labeled cells become restricted around the Sox9-positive cartilage anlage without themselves becoming Sox9-positive. In the adult, the Prrx1eGFP transgene live labels a subpopulation of cells within the periosteum that are enriched at specific sites, and this population is diminished in aged mice. The green fluorescent protein (GFP)-labeled subpopulation can be isolated using fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) and represents approximately 8% of all isolated periosteal cells. The GFP-labeled subpopulation is significantly more osteogenic than unlabeled, GFP-negative periosteal cells. In addition, the osteogenic and chondrogenic capacity of periosteal cells in vitro can be extended with the addition of fibroblast growth factor (FGF) to the expansion media. We provide evidence to suggest that osteoblasts contributing to cortical bone formation in the embryo originate from Prrx1eGFP-positive cells within the perichondrium, which possibly piggyback on invading vascular cells and secrete new bone matrix. In summary, the Prrx1eGFP mouse is a powerful tool to visualize and isolate periosteal cells and to quantify their properties in the embryo and adult.


Brown, S., Malik, S., Aljammal, M., O'Flynn, A., Hobbs, C., Shah, M., …Logan, M. P. (in press). The Prrx1eGFP Mouse Labels the Periosteum During Development and a Subpopulation of Osteogenic Periosteal Cells in the Adult. JBMR Plus, e10707,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 13, 2022
Online Publication Date Dec 14, 2022
Deposit Date Dec 15, 2022
Publicly Available Date Dec 19, 2022
Journal JBMR Plus
Print ISSN 2473-4039
Electronic ISSN 2473-4039
Publisher American Society for Bone and Mineral Research
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume e10707
Keywords Orthopedics and Sports Medicine; Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
Additional Information Received: 2021-10-06; Accepted: 2022-11-13; Published: 2022-12-14


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