Abstract. Chondrogenesis is an important process in the development of the embryonic chick limb. If limb buds are dispersed just prior to the initiation of chondrogenic differentiation and their cells seeded densely in culture as three-dimensional “micromasses,” some of the cells differentiate to form chondrogenic nodules. These nodules characteristically produce sulfated proteoglycans and type II collagen. Two conditions within the early avian limb core have been linked causatively to the initiation of chondrogenesis: a limitation in the availability of molecular oxygen and a low NAD content of the tissue. The O2 limitation is thought to be responsible for the low NAD level. We examined the effects of molecular oxygen on the NAD content of chick limb-bud cells in micromass culture, the formation of chondrocytic nodules, and the production of type II collagen and sulfated proteoglycans. The NAD content of the cells in the micromasses and the production of type II collagen did not vary greatly as a function of oxygen availability. The development of the nodules was modified, but not eliminated, by high oxygen partial pressure (0.95). It was eliminated by anoxia. Proteoglycan synthesis was decreased significantly by high oxygen tension and its sulfa-tion was also decreased, more so in the wing-bud than the leg-bud cells. The results suggest that in culture, high oxygen tension is compatible with some, but not all, aspects of chondrogenic differentiation of cells from embryonic chick limbs.