Multifunctional bone morphogenetic protein system in endocrinology

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36 Citations (Scopus)


New biological activities of bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) in the endocrine system have recently been revealed. The BMP system is composed of approximately 30 ligands and preferential combinations of type I and type II receptors. The BMP system not only induces bone formation but also plays unique tissue-specific roles in various organs. For instance, the ovarian BMP system is a physiological inhibitor of luteinization in growing ovarian follicles. In the ovary, the expression of oocyte-derived BMP-15 is critical for female reproduction In the pituitary, BMP-4 is a key player for initial development of the anterior pituitary, while it is also functionally involved in some differentiated pituitary tumors, including prolactinoma and Cushing's disease. In the adrenal glands, BMP-6 and BMP-4 modulate aldosterone and catecholamine production, respectively, which contributes to a functional interaction between the cortex and medulla. In the present review, recent advances in BMP biology in the field of endocrinology are described and the possibility for clinical application of BMP activity is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-86
Number of pages12
JournalActa medica Okayama
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Bone morphogenetic protein
  • Folliculogenesis
  • Pituitary adenoma
  • Steroidogenesis
  • Transforming growth factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology


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