Using fluorescence immunohistochemistry, the distribution of connexin 43 was examined in hyaline cartilage and in the perichondrium of mouse and rat knee joints. In addition, rat chondrocytes were shown to be coupled in dye transfer studies with Lucifer Yellow. Connexin 43 was detected between chondrocytes in the outer layer of knee joint cartilage, between chondrocytes of the growth plate and between fibrocartilage-like cells at tendon and ligament insertions and in the tendons and ligaments proper. However, in the hyaline cartilage of the hind limbs of mature rats, the degree of connexin 43 immunoreactivity was diminished. These data suggest a possible involvement of connexins in cartilage development.