Inhibition of limb chondrogenesis in vitro by vitamin A: alterations in cell surface characteristics

Lewis, C.A.; Pratt, R.M.; Pennypacker, J.P.; Hassell, J.R.

Developmental Biology 64(1): 31-47

1978


ISSN/ISBN: 0012-1606
PMID: 566229
DOI: 10.1016/0012-1606(78)90058-1
Accession: 040446734

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Abstract
Mesenchyme cells derived from embryonic mouse limb buds were cultured at high cell density. During the first 24 h in culture, groups of mesenchyme cells condensed and formed cell contacts and specialized junctions. These condensations were the nodule primordia which gave rise to cartilage nodules. The cell contacts were lost as the mesenchyme cells in the primordia developed into cartilage nodules. The mature nodules contained chondrocytes isolated from one another by an extensive extracellular matrix consisting of cartilage type collagen fibrils and proteoglycan granules. The differentiation of the mesenchyme cells to chondrocytes was also characterized by the loss of a 240,000-Mw cell surface glycoprotein and the appearance of an 80,000-Mw surface protein. The addition of vitamin A to the medium on Day 1 inhibited chondrogenesis. The cells were closely packed together, and the limited extracellular space contained thick, banded collagen fibrils with no proteoglycan granules. The cells exhibited extensive areas of close membrane contact and specialized junctions. Vitamin A-treated cultures also retained the 240,000-Mw surface glycoprotein and retarded the appearance of the 80,000-Mw cell surface protein.