PMID: 1371424Jan 1, 1992

Studies of mineralization in tissue culture: optimal conditions for cartilage calcification

Bone and Mineral
A L BoskeyP Leboy


The optimal conditions for obtaining a calcified cartilage matrix approximating that which exists in situ were established in a differentiating chick limb bud mesenchymal cell culture system. Using cells from stage 21-24 embryos in a micro-mass culture, at an optimal density of 0.5 million cells/20 microliters spot, the deposition of small crystals of hydroxyapatite on a collagenous matrix and matrix vesicles was detected by day 21 using X-ray diffraction, FT-IR microscopy, and electron microscopy. Optimal media, containing 1.1 mM Ca, 4 mM P, 25 micrograms/ml vitamin C, 0.3 mg/ml glutamine, no Hepes buffer, and 10% fetal bovine serum, produced matrix resembling the calcifying cartilage matrix of fetal chick long bones. Interestingly, higher concentrations of fetal bovine serum had an inhibitory effect on calcification. The cartilage phenotype was confirmed based on the cellular expression of cartilage collagen and proteoglycan mRNAs, the presence of type II and type X collagen, and cartilage type proteoglycan at the light microscopic level, and the presence of chondrocytes and matrix vesicles at the EM level. The system is proposed as a model for evaluating the events in cell mediated cartilage calcification.


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Related Concepts

Collagen Diseases
Extracellular Matrix
Limb Structure
X-Ray Diffraction
Electron Microscopy

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