Send to

Choose Destination
Exp Cell Res. 1991 Jan;192(1):266-70.

Cell hypertrophy and type X collagen synthesis in cultured articular chondrocytes.

Author information

Department of Anatomy-Histology, School of Dental Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia 19104-6003.


Articular cartilage is a permanent tissue whose cells do not normally take part in the endochondral ossification process. To determine whether articular chondrocytes possess the potential to express traits associated with this process such as cell hypertrophy and type X collagen, chondrocytes were isolated from adult chicken tibial articular cartilage and maintained in long-term suspension cultures. As a positive control in these experiments, we used parallel cultures of chondrocytes from the caudal portion of chick embryo sternum. Both articular and sternal chondrocytes readily proliferated and progressively increased in size with time in culture. Many had undergone hypertrophy by 4-5 weeks. Analysis of medium-released collagenous proteins revealed that both articular and sternal chondrocytes initiated type X collagen synthesis between 3 and 4 weeks of culture; synthesis of this macromolecule increased with further growth. Immunofluorescence analysis of 5-week-old cultures showed that about 15% of articular chondrocytes and 30% of sternal chondrocytes produced type X collagen; strikingly, there appeared to be no obvious relationship between type X collagen production and cell size. The results of this study show that articular chondrocytes from adult chicken tibia possess the ability to express traits associated with endochondral ossification when exposed to a permissive environment. They suggest also that the process of cell hypertrophy and initiation of type X collagen synthesis are independently regulated both in articular and sternal chondrocytes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center