The process of endochondral bone formation was examined with regard to expression of seven heat shock proteins (Hsps): two small Hsps, the constitutive and the inducible forms of the 70 and the 90 Hsp families, the collagen chaperone Hsp47, and a cytosolic chaperone, TCP-1alpha, using immunohistochemistry. Around day 15.5 of embryogenesis the calcification of the long endochondral bones occurs through progressive replacement of the cartilaginous scaffold (rich in type II collagen) with an ossified matrix (rich in type I collagen), and thus a longitudinal section of limb bone recapitulates all the steps of chondrogenesis and the early steps of osteogenesis. We observed that all these Hsps and chaperones are differentially expressed during bone development in a stage-specific pattern reaching very high levels at some specific stages. The involvement of chaperones during these important differentiation steps will be discussed.
Copyright Harcourt Brace and Co. Ltd 1998