Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science




Dr. Frank Beier

Second Advisor

Dr. Lina Dagnino (GSR)

Third Advisor

Dr. Tom Drysdale


Bones grow longitudinally through the process of endochodral bone formation. The size of bones is regulated by chondrocyte proliferation, differentiation and remodelling. Retinoic acid receptor-related orphan receptor alpha, RORα, is a nuclear receptor involved in differentiation of many tissues and was recently identified as a putative regulator of chondrocyte differentiation. The goal of this thesis was to analyse the in-vivo role of RORα in chondrocyte differentiation. The in vivo model of Rora deficiency, staggerer mouse, and controls were employed for this analysis. Skeletal morphology, length and ossification were analysed by skeletal preparations. Histological analysis of cartilage and remodelling markers was performed on long bones. Ex vivo cultures were grown for 6 days. Staggerer mice had shorter body and bone length. Growth plates and proliferating zones were shorter in three week-old mice that also showed delayed secondary ossification and decreased p57 staining. In conclusion, RORα plays a role in longitudinal bone growth and secondary ossification.



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