Remodelling of collagen types I, II and X and calcification of human fetal cartilage

Thorsten Kirsch, Klaus von der Mark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Evidence from recent studies on type X collagen in hypertrophic chick cartilage suggests that it may be involved in cartilage calcification. Here we compare the distribution of type X collagen with that of calcium mineral deposition in fetal human growth plate cartilages of long bones and ribs. Using a specific antibody we demonstrate the presence of type X collagen in a narrow, sharply defined zone of hypertrophic chondrocytes. Type X collagen was also localized in the calcifying cartilage remaining within spongy bone trabecules. Calcium deposits were, however, detected by alizarine red S only in the lower hypertrophic zone and in bone, confirming the notion that type X collagen is deposited in the hypertrophic cartilage before mineral deposition. By immunofluorescence double staining we demonstrate codistribution of type II and X collagen in the hypertrophic zone, while type I collagen was absent from hypertrophic cartilage matrix; it was detected only in the perichondrium, in vascular cavities, and in osteoid and bone. From these observations we conclude that the sequence of events leading to cartilage mineralization begins with chondrocyte hypertrophy, followed by type X collagen synthesis and finally by deposition of calcium mineral.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107-117
Number of pages11
JournalBone and Mineral
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1992


  • Calcification
  • Cartilage
  • Chondrocyte hypertrophy
  • Type X collagen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology


Dive into the research topics of 'Remodelling of collagen types I, II and X and calcification of human fetal cartilage'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this