Polyclonal antibodies were raised in a rabbit against the major proteoglycan of chick sternal cartilage. A total of six antisera was obtained, three after the first booster injection (A1, A2, and A3) and three after the second booster injection (A4, A5, and A6). The A1 antiserum, which was characterized in most detail, immunoprecipitated native as well as chondroitinase ABC-digested or chondroitinase ABC/keratanase-digested cartilage proteoglycan synthesized by cultured chick chondroblasts, but failed to immunoprecipitate the major proteoglycan synthesized by chick skin fibroblasts. This antiserum was also able to immunoprecipitate the cartilage proteoglycan core protein newly synthesized by cultured chondroblasts, but no other major cell protein. However, the late bleed antisera obtained from the same rabbit after a second booster injection reacted with a new chondroblast-specific polypeptide(s) of approximately 60,000 mol wt in addition to the cartilage proteoglycan. By immunofluorescence procedures, the A1 antiserum stained the extracellular proteoglycan matrix of cultured chondroblasts but not that of skin fibroblasts. Following enzymatic removal of the extracellular matrix and cell membrane permeabilization, this antiserum stained primarily a large, juxtanuclear structure. Additional radioautographic evidence suggests that this structure represents the Golgi complex. Similar immunofluorescent staining with antibodies to the cartilage-characteristic Type II collagen revealed that type II procollagen was localized in numerous cytoplasmic, vacuole-like structures which were scattered throughout most of the chondroblast cytoplasm but were notably scanty in the Golgi complex area. In conclusion, our data suggest the transit of the major cartilage proteoglycan through the Golgi complex of cultured chondroblasts and possible differences in the intracellular distribution of newly synthesized cartilage proteoglycan and Type II procollagen.

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