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J Orthop Res. 1991 Jul;9(4):485-94.

Localization of type X collagen in canine growth plate and adult canine articular cartilage.

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  • 1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.


Type X collagen was extracted from ends of canine growth plates by pepsin digestion after 4 M guanidine hydrochloride extraction, purified by stepwise salt precipitation (2.0 M NaCl in 0.5 M acetic acid), and chromatographed on a Bio-Gel A1.5 M column in 1.0 M CaCl2. Without reduction on sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) polyacrylamide gels, the preparation yielded a single, high-molecular-weight (mol wt) band; after reduction, a single band of relative mol wt 5.0 x 10(4) was found. Polyclonal sera were raised against the purified collagen and used in the immunolocalization of canine type X collagen. As expected, indirect immunoperoxidase (IP) or indirect immunofluorescent staining with the polyclonal sera demonstrated that most of the immunoreactivity was localized in the zone of provisional calcification of the growth plate and in cartilage remnants in the metaphyseal region of the physis. A progressive decrease in staining toward the diaphysis of the fetal canine long bone was apparent as the trabecular structures were remodeled to bone. Unexpectedly, type X collagen was also detected in the zone of calcified, mature articular cartilage. It was concentrated in the pericellular matrix of the chondrocytes, appeared at or just above the tidemark, and was expressed immediately before mineralization. Identification of type X collagen in both the canine growth plate and the zone of calcified articular cartilage suggests that cells in the deep layer of cartilage and in the zone of calcified cartilage in the adult animal retain some characteristics of a growth plate and may be involved in regulation of mineralization at this critical interface. The expression of growth plate-like properties would allow the deep chondrocytes of mature articular cartilage to play a role in remodeling of the joint with age and in the pathogenesis of osteoarthritis.

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