Calcified Tissue International

, Volume 27, Issue 1, pp 177–185 | Cite as

Radioautographic visualization of3H-fucose incorporation into glycoprotein by osteoblasts and its deposition into bone matrix

  • Melvyn Weinstock
Laboratory Investigations


The elaboration of bone matrix glycoprotein by osteoblasts of alveolar bone was investigated by radioautography after the intravenous injection of3H-fucose into young rats. At selected times after injection, animals were sacrificed by intracardiac perfusion and demineralized specimens were prepared for light and electron microscope radioautography.

At 5 and 10 min after injection, when the blood fucose level was high, silver grains were restricted to the spheroidal and cylindrical saccules of the Golgi apparatus. At 20 min membrane-limited secretory granules were also labeled. By 35 min, the blood fucose level had dropped and silver grains were detected over the apical cortical cytoplasm, in association with secretory granules located therein. Some grains were present over osteoblast processes and the adjacent prebone matrix. By 4 h most of the silver grains had left the cell. At that time they were observed over prebone, adjacent to osteoblast processes, as well as over the prebone-bone junction where a distinct band of label was noted. In demineralized preparations an electron-dense granular material was present at the prebone-bone junction in association with collagen fibrils.

These findings provide evidence that osteoblasts in alveolar bone synthesize fucose-containing glycoprotein and indicate that the addition of3H-fucose occurs in the Golgi apparatus. The glycoprotein passes to the apical cortical cytoplasm by way of membrane-limited secretory granules, is exteriorized, and accumulates at the site where prebone transforms into bone (the prebone-bone junction). Since this is also the site of the calcification front, the deposition of labeled glycoprotein may be related to the deposition of bone mineral.

Key words

Calcification Bone Glycoprotein Golgi Osteoblasts 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Melvyn Weinstock
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine and Department of Orthodontics, Faculty of DentistryMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada

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