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Bone. 1990;11(3):189-98.

Terminal differentiation of osteogenic cells in the embryonic chick tibia is revealed by a monoclonal antibody against osteocytes.

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  • 1Skeletal Research Center, Department of Biology, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio.


Monoclonal antibodies against the surface of embryonic osteogenic cells have been used to characterize the sequence of transitions involved in the osteoblastic cell lineage. These previous data identified distinct cell stages within the osteogenic lineage, but were incomplete. To further refine and extend these observations, additional monoclonal antibodies were generated against the surface of osteogenic cells by immunizing mice with a heterogeneous population of chick embryonic bone cells. Supernatants from growing hybridoma colonies were immunohistochemically screened against frozen sections of stage 35 (day 9.5) chick tibiae. One cell line, SB-5, which secretes an antibody against the surface of osteogenic cells was successfully cloned, stabilized, and immortalized. Studies on the developmental progression of osteogenesis in the embryonic chick tibia reveal that cells within the lineage stages from Pre-Osteoblast to Secretory Osteoblast were never observed to react with antibody SB-5 at any time. By contrast, strong cell surface immunoreactivity was present on mature osteoblastic cells as they became Osteocytes. Furthermore, in cultures of osteogenic cells derived from embryonic calvaria or tibiae, cells possessing the SB-5 antigen on their surface displayed a morphology remarkably similar to that of Osteocytes found in situ. Double immunofluorescent staining of developing chick tibiae with SB-5 and SB-2, a monoclonal antibody directed against the surface of Secretory Osteoblasts, indicates that these cells proceed through an intermediate lineage step before becoming terminally differentiated Osteocytes. This transitory cell state is characterized by the simultaneous cell surface binding of antibodies SB-2 and SB-5, and is referred to as the Osteocytic Osteoblast stage.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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