Collagens type I, II, III, IV, and V and the minor cartilage collagens, 1 alpha 2 alpha 3 alpha, C-PS 1, and C-PS 2, were purified, antibodies raised, and then used in immunofluorescence studies on bovine nasal cartilage (BNC). Punctate localisation was seen with the type II antibody. However, pretreatment of sections with hyaluronidase to remove the proteoglycan resulted in diffuse staining over all the section with this antibody. Antibodies to 1 alpha 2 alpha 3 alpha, C-PS 1, and C-PS 2 collagens gave no staining on untreated BNC sections, but after treatment with hyaluronidase all 3 antibodies showed as a diffuse 'halo' round each chondrocyte lacuna. Anti-type I, anti-type III, and anti-type IV collagen antibodies did not stain untreated or enzyme treated BNC. Type V collagen antibodies gave a bright ring in the pericellular region of the lacunae of hyaluronidase-treated BNC. This was unexpected, as we could not detect type V collagen biochemically in the same cartilage. Anti-fibronectin antibodies stained areas distant from the chondrocytes, these areas being distinct from those stained by 1 alpha 2 alpha 3 alpha and C-PS antibodies, suggesting that fibronectin is not associated with these collagens in BNC. These results suggest that different collagen types may have different locations within the cartilage matrix, that proteoglycans may inhibit antibody association with collagen, and that fibronectin is normally not associated with all types of collagen.
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