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J Histochem Cytochem. 1995 Oct;43(10):967-79.

Ultrastructural localization of collagen types II, IX, and XI in the growth plate of human rib and fetal bovine epiphyseal cartilage: type XI collagen is restricted to thin fibrils.

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  • 1Shriners Hospital for Crippled Children, Portland, Oregon 97201, USA.

Abstract

The collagen fibrils of hyaline cartilage vary in diameter depending on developmental stage and location within the tissue. In general, growth plates and fetal epiphyseal cartilages contain fibrils with diameters of less than approximately 25 nm, whereas the permanent cartilage of adult tissues contains fibrils of approximately 30-200 nm. The interstitial collagen fibrils of fetal cartilage are complex, having at least three collagen types as integral components. Type XI, a member of the fibrillar collagen class, has been proposed to limit fibril diameter. To test this proposition we sought to determine if Type XI collagen was preferentially associated with fibrils of smaller diameter. We focused our study on human juvenile rib growth plate, which has thin fibrils in the hypertrophic zone, thick fibrils in the resting zone or permanent cartilage, and a mixture of thin and thick fibrils in the proliferative zone. Tissues were examined by immunoelectron microscopy with antipeptide antibodies to the carboxyl telopeptide and to the amino terminal non-triple-helical domains of alpha 1 (XI). These studies showed that (a) both epitopes of Type XI collagen were readily accessible to antibodies at the fibrillar surface, (b) Type XI collagen was associated predominantly with fibrils < 25 nm in diameter, (c) Type XI collagen was not found in thick fibrils even after disruption with chaotropic agents, and (d) collagen Types II and IX were associated with fibrils of all sizes. These studies were extended to human newborn epiphyseal cartilage and to fetal calf cartilage, with the same result.

PMID:
7560887
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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