In this study the distribution of type X collagen in thyroid cartilages of various ages is described. Fetal and juvenile thyroid cartilage was negative for type X collagen, but showed a strong staining reaction for type II collagen. Type X collagen and calcium deposition were first detected in thyroid cartilage of 18-to 21-year-old adults. Type X collagen was restricted to large chondrocytes near or in mineralized cartilage, confirming the notion that type X collagen precedes mineralization. From these observations it was concluded that chondrocytes in thyroid cartilage undergo differentiation steps that are similar, but much slower, compared to cells in growth plate and sternal cartilage. Some type X collagen-positive areas also showed staining for type I collagen, suggesting that there is a further differentiation of chondrocytes to cells which are characterized by the simultaneous synthesis of type X and I collagen. However, a dedifferentiation process during aging of thyroid cartilage where cells switch from synthesis of type II to type I collagen cannot be excluded.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)