The immunohistochemical localization of types I and II collagen was examined in the following 4 cartilaginous tissues of the rat craniofacial region: the nasal septal cartilage and the spheno-occipital synchondrosis (primary cartilages), and the mandibular condylar cartilage and the cartilage at the intermaxillary suture (secondary cartilages). In both primary cartilages, type II collagen was present in the extracellular matrix (ECM) of the whole cartilaginous area, but type I collagen was completely absent from the ECM. In the secondary cartilages, type 1 collagen was present throughout the cartilaginous cell layers, and type II collagen was restricted to the ECM of the mature and hypertrophic cell layers. These observations indicate differences in the ECM components between primary and secondary craniofacial cartilages, and that these differences may contribute to their modes of chondrogenesis.
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