Structure and function of hyaline cartilages has been the focus of many correlative studies for over a hundred years. Much of what is known regarding dynamics and function of cartilage constituents has been derived or inferred from biochemical and electron microscopic investigations. Here we show that in conjunction with ultrastructural, and high-magnification transmission light and polarization microscopy, the well-developed histochemical methods are indispensable for the analysis of cartilage dynamics. Microscopically demonstrable aspects of cartilage dynamics include, but are not limited to, formation of the intracellular liquid crystals, phase transitions of the extracellular matrix and tubular connections between chondrocytes. The role of the interchondrocytic liquid crystals is considered in terms of the tensegrity hypothesis and non-apoptotic cell death. Phase transitions of the extracellular matrix are discussed in terms of self-alignment of chondrons, matrix guidance pathways and cartilage growth in the absence of mitosis. The possible role of nonenzymatic glycation reactions in cartilage dynamics is also reviewed.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||77|
|Journal||Progress in Histochemistry and Cytochemistry|
|State||Published - Jan 1 1999|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Cell Biology