Calcified Tissue International

, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 65–72 | Cite as

Matrix vesicles in chicken epiphyseal cartilage. Separation from lysosomes and the distribution of inorganic pyrophosphatase activity

  • H. K. Väänänen
  • L. K. Korhonen
Laboratory Investigations


The extracellular matrix vesicles from epiphyseal cartilage of chickens were isolated by differential centrifugation. The matrix vesicles obtained showed considerable activity of lysosomal enzymes. This appears to have been due to lysosomal contamination because when we used a new density gradient medium (Percoll®), the lysosomal enzyme activities and the activity of alkaline phosphatase could be totally separated. Electron microscopy of the alkaline phosphatase-rich fraction showed matrix vesicle-like structures.

Phosphatase activities of the cells and matrix vesicles were further studied by Sephadex G-200 gel filtration. Specific magnesium-activated inorganic pyrophosphatase, distinct from nonspecific alkaline phosphatase, could be demonstrated in the cellular fraction. No such separate activity could be demonstrated in the matrix vesicle fraction, and it is supposed that the pyrophosphatase activity in the matrix vesicles originates from the alkaline phosphatase.

Key words

Matrix vesicles Epiphyseal cartilage Gradient centrifugation Lysosomal enzymes Inorganic pyrophosphatase 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. K. Väänänen
    • 1
  • L. K. Korhonen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnatomyUniversity of OuluOulu 22Finland

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