We have recently reported that dedifferentiated cells derived from stage 28-30 chick embryo tibiae, when transferred in suspension culture in the presence of ascorbic acid, develop in a tissue closely resembling hypertrophic cartilage. Ultrastructural examination of this in vitro formed cartilage showed numerous matrix vesicles associated with the extracellular matrix (C. Tacchetti, R. Quarto, L. Nitsch, D. J. Hartmann, and R. Cancedda, 1987, J. Cell Biol. 105, 999-1006). In the present article we report that the in vitro developed hypertrophic cartilage undergoes calcification. We indicate a correlation between the levels of alkaline phosphatase activity and calcium deposition at different times of development. Following the transfer of cells into suspension culture and an initial lag phase, the level of alkaline phosphatase activity rapidly increased. In most experiments the maximum of activity was reached after 5 days of culture. When alkaline phosphatase activity and 45Ca deposition were measured in the same experiment, we observed that the increase in alkaline phosphatase preceded the deposition of nonwashable calcium deposits in the cartilage.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental Biology