Ultracytochemical study of medullary bone calcification in estrogen injected male Japanese quail



Fine structural and cytochemical studies were performed to clarify the pattern of medullary bone calcification, specifically in relation to sulfated glycosaminoglycans, by using estrogen-induced medullary bone of male Japanese quails. Tibiae were collected at 4 and 7 days after estrogen treatment. Medullary bone had developed inward toward the marrow cavity, and calcification had begun near the cortical bone and deeper parts of the trabeculae, accompanied by wide osteoid at extending tips and surface areas of the trabeculae. Sulfated glycosaminoglycans, detected by high iron diamine (HID), were distributed in the matrix in a pattern similar to that of calcified matrix of the trabeculae. Cortical bone was negatively stained by HID. In undecalcified specimens, calcified nodules were seen in areas undergoing calcification. Globular structures composed of fine filamentous materials, a marginal dense layer, and central core, were also observed in the matrix of decalcified specimens. Both the calcified nodules and globular structures showed the same distribution pattern, i.e., they were dispersed at surface areas and coalesced in the deeper areas of the matrix. The globular structures were exclusively positive for HID–thiocarbohydrazide–silver protein (HID-TCH-SP) stain, indicating the localization of sulfated glycosaminoglycans. These results strongly suggest that medullary bone calcification progresses by the coalescence of calcified nodules and that sulfated glycosaminoglycans play an important role for the regulation of globular calcification. Anat Rec 264:25–31, 2001. © 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.