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Gazzetta Medica Italiana Archivio per le Scienze Mediche 2006 February;165(1):1-12

Copyright © 2006 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: Italian

The endochondral calcification: from the resting chondrocyte to the matrix vesicle

Pollesello P. 1, Vittur F. 2

1 Orion Pharma, Espoo, Finlandia; 2 Dipartimento di Biochimica, Biofisica e Chimica delle Macromolecole, Università di Trieste, Trieste, Italia


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The enchondral calcification in the growth plate cartilage is a chondrocyte-driven process. Tools for the calcification of this tissue are the matrix vesicles originated from the hypertrophic chondrocytes and the alkaline phosphatase present in such vesicles. This review illustrates the structure and function of the cells and of the intracellular matrix in the different zones of the growth plate cartilage, i.e. the resting, the proliferative, the hypertrophic and the calcification zones. The modification of the plasma membrane during the differentiation of the chondrocytes from resting to hyperthrophic and the endogenous proteolysis leading to the production of matrix vesicles from the plasma membrane of the hypertrophic chondrocytes are also described and discussed. Finally, the role of alkaline phosphatase, a calcium-binding glycoprotein localized in the calcifying cartilage, is discussed.

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