Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract The proximal growth plate cartilage of rat tibia was fixed in the presence of ruthenium hexamine trichloride (RHT) in order to preserve proteoglycans in the tissue. Quantitative changes of chondroitin sulfates during endochondral calcification were investigated by immunoelectron microscopy using mouse monoclonal antibodies 1-B-5, 2-B-6, and 3-B-3, which recognize unsulfated, 4-sulfated, and 6-sulfated chondroitin sulfates, respectively. The content of chondroitin-4-sulfate in the cartilage matrix increased from the proliferative zone to the calcifying zone, while that of unsulfated chondroitin sulfate decreased. Chondroitin-6-sulfate remained constant from the proliferative zone to the upper hypertrophic zone, then decreased in the calcifying zone. The immunoreaction to each antibody increased conspicuously in the cartilagenous core of metaphysial bone trabeculae. The changes of sulfation in chondroitin sulfate chains of proteoglycans may play an important role in inducing and/or promoting calcification in growth plate cartilage.
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