Two cell populations were isolated from calvaria of chick embryos: PF cells were liberated by collagenase treatment from the periosteum, OB cells from the periosteum-free calvarium. Both populations were cultured in plastic culture dishes. After 6 d of culture, monolayers of each cell type either were scraped off the culture dishes, transplanted on the chorio-allantoic membrane of 7-d-old quail eggs, and cultured there for 6 d, or were used for biochemical experiments. OB transplants proved capable of producing calcified bone matrix, whereas PF transplants formed only fibrous tissue. Biochemically, OB cells showed high cAMP production in the presence of parathyroid hormone (PTH), whereas cAMP production was not stimulated in PF cultures. Lactate production was stimulated by PTH in both populations although somewhat differently. Citrate decarboxylation was high in OB cells and was inhibited by PTH but was low in PF cells, where it was stimulated by the same hormone. The differences in hormonal response between the two cell types made it possible to conclude that PF cultures are relatively free of OB cells. The PF contamination in OB cultures was more difficult to assess. The experiments described in this report show that the OB population contains osteoblasts or osteoblastlike cells which are, under favorable circumstances, capable of bone formation.

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