Immunofluorescence and immunoelectron microscopy were used in conjunction with a monoclonal antibody to investigate the localization of type X collagen in the proximal tibial growth plate of 7-d-old chicks. This molecule was detected throughout the hypertrophic zone first appearing when chondrocytes exhibited hypertrophy: it was absent from the proliferative zone. Type X collagen was primarily associated with type II collagen fibrils as demonstrated by immunogold staining. Type X collagen was not concentrated in the focal calcification sites nor was it associated with matrix vesicles. These observations suggest that type X collagen may play a role other than that directly related to the nucleation of calcification.

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