An in situ hybridization study of perlecan, DMP1, and MEPE in developing condylar cartilage of the fetal mouse mandible and limb bud cartilage. Academic Article uri icon


  • The main purpose of this in situ hybridization study was to investigate mRNA expression of three bone/cartilage matrix components (perlecan, DMP1, and MEPE) in developing primary (tibial) and secondary (condylar) cartilage. Perlecan mRNA expression was first detected in newly formed chondrocytes in tibial cartilage at E13.0, but this expression decreased in hypertrophic chondrocytes at E14.0. In contrast, at E15.0, perlecan mRNA was first detected in the newly formed chondrocytes of condylar cartilage; these chondrocytes had characteristics of hypertrophic chondrocytes, which confirmed the previous observation that progenitor cells of developing secondary cartilage rapidly differentiate into hypertrophic chondrocytes. DMP1 mRNA was detected in many chondrocytes within the lower hypertrophic cell zone in tibial cartilage at E14.0. In contrast, DMP1 mRNA expression was only transiently detected in a few chondrocytes of condylar cartilage at E15.0. Thus, DMP1 may be less important in the developing condylar cartilage than in the tibial cartilage. Another purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that MEPE may be a useful marker molecule for cartilage. MEPE mRNA was not detected in any chondrocytes in either tibial or condylar cartilage; however, MEPE immunoreactivity was detected throughout the cartilage matrix. Western immunoblot analysis demonstrated that MEPE antibody recognized two bands, one of 67 kDa and another of 59 kDa, in cartilage-derived samples. Thus MEPE protein may gradually accumulate in the cartilage, even though mRNA expression levels were below the limits of detection of in situ hybridization. Ultimately, we could not designate MEPE as a marker molecule for cartilage, and would modify our original hypothesis.

published proceedings

  • Eur J Histochem

author list (cited authors)

  • Fujikawa, K., Yokohama-Tamaki, T., Morita, T., Baba, O., Qin, C., & Shibata, S.

citation count

  • 14

complete list of authors

  • Fujikawa, K||Yokohama-Tamaki, T||Morita, T||Baba, O||Qin, C||Shibata, S

publication date

  • September 2015