Mar 1, 1984

Visualization of early intramembranous ossification by electron microscopic and spectroscopic imaging

The Journal of Cell Biology
A L Arsenault, F P Ottensmeyer


We present electron microscopic and electron spectroscopic images of putative nucleation sites and early mineral deposits during intramembranous ossification of the murine perichondrial ring. Electron spectroscopic imaging (ESI) permits the quantitative determination and direct visualization of spatial distribution of atomic elements within specimens at high spatial resolution. In this study ESI was used to determine the elemental distributions of phosphorus, sulfur, and calcium. Nucleation and subsequent mineralization in the perichondrial ring occurred sequentially along the longitudinal axis. Proximal regions of the ring contained a matrix with only a few nucleation sites that are characterized in conventional electron micrographs as small loci of low-density material in which dense particles are located. Elemental maps of these sites that we obtained by ESI reveal a sulfur-containing matrix in which localized concentrations of phosphorus occur. With further maturation the loci became centers for the genesis of numerous dense rods or crystals. These mineral deposits contained increased concentrations of P, S, and Ca, compared with the surrounding matrix. The appearance of S at nucleation sites and its persistence in developi...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Extracellular Matrix
Red Phosphorus
Ossification of Posterior Longitudinal Ligament
Electron Microscopy
Bone Growth
Bone Mineralization

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