Key words Immunohistology
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract Integrins are cell-surface receptors that mediate cell attachment to extracellular matrix components. The pericellular matrix in cartilage not only is a mechanical framework, but is also important for chondrocyte differentiation and stabilization of the phenotype. The interaction between chondrocytes and pericellular matrix is mediated, in part, by integrin receptors. We have previously demonstrated the presence of β1-integrins in the cartilage matrix of organoid culture of limb buds from 12-day-old mouse embryos by immunohistological methods. In order to corroborate these findings, we have further investigated the distribution of integrins in the cartilage matrix by immunoelectron microscopy and by immunoprecipitation methods. Cartilage tissue of limb buds of 17-day-old mouse embryos was treated with collagenase and the cell-free and cellular protein-free supernatant was removed and used for immunoprecipitation experiments. Immunoprecipitation with antibodies against β1-, α1-, α3-, and α5β1-integrins and collagen type II, followed by immunoblotting with the same antibodies, demonstrated the presence of these integrins and collagen type II in the supernatant. The integrins found in the cartilage matrix could have been either secreted or shed by the cells. The question as to whether they have a function in the cartilage matrix, such as interlinking, in the matrix organization or in the stabilization of matrix components remains to be elucidated.
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