Cytochemical localization of tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase, alkaline phosphatase, and nonspecific esterase in perivascular cells of cartilage canals in the developing mouse epiphysis

Cole, A.A.; Wezeman, F.H.

American Journal of Anatomy 180(3): 237-242

1987


ISSN/ISBN: 0002-9106
PMID: 3434540
DOI: 10.1002/aja.1001800304
Accession: 039728939

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Abstract
Cytochemical localization of tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP), tartrate-sensitive acid phosphatases (TSAP), alkaline phosphatase, and nonspecific esterase was used to characterize perivascular cells within cartilage canals. In the distal femoral epiphyses of 5- to 7-day-old mice, three stages of canal development can be distinguished, and at each developmental stage different perivascular cells were present with morphological characteristics of degradative cells. Vacuolated cells resembling macrophages, fibroblastic cells, and chondroclasts were present adjacent to the matrix in superficial, intermediate, and deep canals, respectively. In order to characterize these perivascular cells cytochemically, nonspecific esterase and TSAP staining was used to identify macrophages, alkaline phosphatase staining was used to identify fibroblastic cells, and TRAP staining was used to identify chondroclasts. There were no cells present in the canals at any developmental stage that were positive for TSAP or strongly positive for nonspecific esterase, placing doubt on the identity of the vacuolated cells as macrophages. Alkaline phosphatase-positive perivascular cells were present in the intermediate and deep canals adjacent to matrix containing alkaline phosphatase-positive chondrocytes. These alkaline phosphatase-positive cells were found in the same location within canals as the fibroblastic cells. Tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase was localized in chondroclasts at the tips of deep canals but was not confined exclusively to chondroclasts. Except for the very early stage of canal development prior to chondrocyte hypertrophy, TRAP-positive cells were present at the tips of superficial and intermediate canals as well as at the tips of the deep canals.

Cytochemical localization of tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase, alkaline phosphatase, and nonspecific esterase in perivascular cells of cartilage canals in the developing mouse epiphysis