Chick embryo sternal chondrocytes from the caudal and cephalic regions were cultured within type I collagen gels and type I collagen/proteoglycan aggregate composite gels in normal serum. Caudal region chondrocytes were also cultured within type I collagen gels in the presence of fibronectindepleted serum. There was a marked stimulation of type X collagen synthesis by the caudal region chondrocytes after 9 days in the presence of fibronectin-depleted serum and after 14 days in the presence of proteoglycan aggregate. These results provide evidence for the ability of chondrocytes from a zone of permanent cartilage to synthesise type X collagen and for the involvement of extracellular matrix components in the control of type X collagen gene expression.

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