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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The influence of bone and marrow on cartilage hypertrophy and degradation during 30-day serum-free culture of the embryonic chick tibia.

In this study, an organ culture system is defined which demonstrates complete loss of cartilage matrix from embryonic chick tibiae. Efficient loss of the cartilage matrix occurs within 30 days of serum-free culture only when the intact tibiae containing bone, marrow, and cartilage tissue are cultured. During organ culture nonhypertrophic chondrocytes become hypertrophic and stain positively for type X collagen and alkaline phosphatase. The cartilage loses Safranin O staining, and finally all cartilage matrix disappears leaving the bony collar and marrow cells. If the tibial cartilage is separated from the bony collar and cultured alone in serum-free medium, the nonhypertrophic chondrocytes also hypertrophy; the matrix loses Safranin O staining; however, some components of the matrix including type X collagen still remain after 30 days. In the presence of serum, the chondrocytes will hypertrophy but cartilage degradation is not evident. The results of this study support the conclusions that 1) hypertrophy is inherently programmed in the chondrocyte and 2) while Safranin O staining of cartilage cultured alone is diminished in serum-free organ culture, the degradation of cartilage is complete only when bone and marrow are also present.[1]


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