Cartilage canals in human thyroid cartilage characterized by immunolocalization of collagen types I, II, pro-III, IV and X

Horst Claassen, Thorsten Kirsch, Guido Simons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this study the collagenous composition of cartilage canals in human thyroid cartilage, which are perichondral invaginations of blood vessels and connective tissue, and the surrounding cartilage matrix were investigated by immunolabelling with specific antibodies against type I, II, pro-III, IV and X collagen. During childhood and early adolescence no cartilage canals were detected in thyroid cartilage, and immunolabelling for type IV collagen was restricted to basal lamina components of blood vessels in the perichondrium. First immunolabelling for type IV collagen, belonging to blood vessels in cartilage canals, in both sexes was detected about the end of the second decade; it was localized in the dorsal part of the thyroid cartilage plate. At this time thyroid cartilage has already reached its final form and size. As revealed by von Kossa staining, vascularization preceded mineralization and ossification. In contrast to the male thyroid cartilage plate, no immunostaining for type IV collagen and no ossification was detected in the ventral half of female thyroid cartilage even in advanced age. The extracellular matrix of cells in cartilage canals showed positive immunostaining for collagen types I and pro-III as well as for collagen type II, indicating that the cells in the canal possess fibroblastic and chondrogenic properties. The extracellular matrix of hypertrophic chondrocytes adjacent to cartilage canals showed strong immunoreactivity for type X collagen. First mineralization was detected close to cartilage canals, suggesting that mineralization in human thyroid cartilage starts in the extracellular matrix adjacent to cartilage canals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)147-153
Number of pages7
JournalAnatomy and Embryology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1996


  • Cartilage canals
  • Collagens
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Thyroid cartilage
  • Vascularization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Embryology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Cartilage canals in human thyroid cartilage characterized by immunolocalization of collagen types I, II, pro-III, IV and X'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this