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Am J Hum Genet. 1986 Jul;39(1):52-67.

Nonexpression of cartilage type II collagen in a case of Langer-Saldino achondrogenesis.


A lethal short-limbed dwarfism was diagnosed at autopsy as the Langer-Saldino variant of achondrogenesis by radiological, histological, and gross pathological criteria. Cartilage was obtained for biochemical and ultrastructural analyses from the ends of long bones, from ribs and from a scapula of the newborn infant. At all sites, it had an abnormal gelatinous texture and translucent appearance. Biochemical analyses of the cartilages to identify pepsin-solubilized collagen alpha-chains and collagen-specific CNBr-peptides failed to detect type II collagen at any site where it would normally be the main constituent. Instead, type I was the predominant collagen present. However, three cartilage-specific minor collagen chains identified as 1 alpha, 2 alpha, and 3 alpha chains by their electrophoretic mobility were present at about 10% of the total collagen. Cartilage-specific proteoglycans also appeared to be abundant in the tissue judging by its high hexosamine content and high ratio of galactosamine to glucosamine. The findings indicate that a chondrocyte phenotype had differentiated but without the expression of type II collagen. In addition to the skeletal abnormalities, the severe pulmonary hypoplasia was also felt to be directly related to the underlying pathology in collagen expression. The term chondrogenesis imperfecta rather than achondrogenesis should be considered a more accurate description of this and related conditions.

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