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Chanika Phornphutkul Associate Professor of Pediatrics

Brown Affiliations

research overview

My research interest is in the area of growth and development of long bone. We use several models including ATDC5 chondrogenic cell line, primary chick condrocytes, metatarsal bone culture to study the effect of various growth factors, as well as nutrient deprivation on chondrocyte growth and differentiation.

research statement

Linear bone growth and maintenance of articular cartilage both require the proliferation and differentiation of chondrocytes. Much of the work done on chondrogenesis has focused on the role of the growth hormone (GH)/insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) axis. While it has long been known that nutrient deprivation impairs linear growth, this has widely been considered to be a function of indirect nutrient effects through modulation of the GH/IGF-I axis. However, our preliminary data indicate that the essential amino acid leucine can directly modulate chondrogenesis. Given that chondrocyte differentiation involves cellular hypertrophy, and that the recently characterized mTOR pathway regulates cell size in response to nutrient availability, we hypothesized that nutrient signaling via mTOR might exert direct effects on chondrocytes.This work has the potential to establish a role for nutrients in the indirect regulation of chondrogenesis via insulin and in direct regulation via the mTOR pathway.

funded research

"Chondrogenesis and Long Bone Growth"
Principle Investigator: Chanika Phornphutkul, M.D.
Agency: Charles H. Foundation
Project Period: 01/01/2005-12/31/2006

"Modulation of IGF-I Signaling in Developing Chondrocytes"
This was a developmental project, funded for 2 years, in a large project awarded to Brown University entitled "Center for Cancer Research Development" (5P20RR017695).
Principle Investigator: D. Hixson. C. Phornphutkul was the Principal Investigator for the developmental project.
Agency: NIH
Project Period: 01/01/2003-12/31/2004

"Chondrogenesis and Long Bone Growth"
Principle Investigator: Chanika Phornphutkul, M.D.
Agency: Department of Pediatrics