The glycosaminoglycan contents of samples from cat intervertebral discs were examined by using cetylpyridinium chloride salt elution techniques. The values obtained related to the region of the vertebral column from which they were derived, to the area of the disc, and to water content. In wet tissue there was a significant difference between regions of the vertebral column and between areas of the disc and findings agreed with previous histological reports. The greater part of the glycosaminoglycans present consisted of chondroitin sulphate and dermatan sulphate with smaller amounts of hyaluronic acid; little keratan sulphate was found. The maximum amounts of chondroitin sulphate and dermatan sulphate occurred in the 0.5m-magnesium chloride fractions usually, but moved towards higher molar concentrations in samples derived from some sites, particularly in the lumbar region. Mean values for the water content of the areas of the disc were: nucleus pulposus, 82.4%; inner anulus, 65.6%; outer anulus, 50.5%. The water content was directly related to the amounts of chondroitin sulphate and dermatan sulphate.

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