Author(s): Hayes AJ, Hughes CE, Smith SM, Caterson B, Little CB,
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Abstract We compared the immunohistochemical distribution of (1) the novel chondroitin sulfate (CS) sulfation motifs 7D4, 4C3, and 3B3[-], (2) native heparan sulfate (HS) and Δ-HS "stubs" generated by heparitinase III digestion and (3) the HS-proteoglycan (PG), perlecan, in the fetal human elbow joint. Putative stem cell populations associated with hair bulbs, humeral perichondrium, humeral and ulnar rudiment stromal/perivascular tissues expressed the CS motifs 4C3, 7D4, and 3B3[-] along with perlecan in close association but not colocalized. Chondrocytes in the presumptive articular cartilage of the fetal elbow expressed the 4C3 and 7D4 CS sulfation motifs consistent with earlier studies on the expression of these motifs in knee cartilage following joint cavitation. This study also indicated that hair bulbs, skin, perichondrium, and rudiment stroma were all perlecan-rich progenitor cell niches that contributed to the organization and development of the human fetal elbow joint and associated connective tissues. One of the difficulties in determining the precise role of stem cells in tissue development and repair processes is their short engraftment period and the lack of specific markers, which differentiate the activated stem cell lineages from the resident cells. The CS sulfation motifs 7D4, 4C3, and 3B3[-] decorate cell surface PGs on activated stem/progenitor cells and thus can be used to identify these cells in transitional areas of tissue development and in repair tissues and may be applicable to determining a more precise mode of action of stem cells in these processes. Isolation of perlecan from 12 to 14 week gestational age fetal knee rudiments demonstrated that perlecan in these fetal tissues was a HS-CS hybrid PG further supporting roles for CS in tissue development.
This article was published in Stem Cells Dev
and referenced in Journal of Glycobiology