An electron microscopic demonstration of induction of chondrogenesis in neonatal RAT muscle outgrowth cells in monolayer cultures

Kari P. Koskinen*, Yasphal S. Kanwar, Bryan Sires, Arthur Veis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations


Second passage fibroblast-like cells grown from explants of neonatal rat muscle continue to demonstrate fibroblast-like properties for many days when cultured on plastic surfaces. Such cells can be induced to change to a chondrocyte-like mode of expression by the addition of effector materials prepared from bovine cortical bone decalcified with 0.6 NHCl. Other studies show that similar demineralized bone particles and extracts from them have, in vivo, osteoinductive properties. Optimum conditions for this differentiation in monolayer culture were found in the use of 2% fetal calf serum with Dulbecco's modified Eagles medium. At 10% fetal calf serum the chondrogenic changes could not be detected. Light microscopy showed a sequence of morphological changes, after 36 h in culture, which resembled those seen at the beginning of osteogenesis in vivo Induced cultures showed abundant extracellular proteoglycan production. Isotope incorporation studies showed stimulation of glycosaminoglycan synthesis in response to effector materials in soluble form. Type II collagen could be detected after three days. Electron microscopic analysis of induced and control cultures showed unequivocal evidence for marked production of an extensive extracellular matrix in the region of effector particles. The cells themselves change shape and develop an abundant system of lysosome-like vesicles and a very active, highly engorged endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi apparatus. After nine days in culture, evidence for the formation of a ruthenium red stained structure on the surface of the cells in contact with inductive particles, was observed. The simple monolayer culture system described provides a direct means by which the presence of active chondrogenic fractions may be assessed, and in which the mechanism of action of the effectors can be studied.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)141-158
Number of pages18
JournalConnective tissue research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Biochemistry
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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