A water-soluble fraction from adult bone stimulates the differentiation of cartilage in explants of embryonic muscle


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Abstract. A water-soluble fraction of a 4 M, guanidine HCI extract of demineralized adult bovine bone stimulated the differentiation of cartilage in explants of minced skeletal muscle from embryonic chick legs; cartilage was also induced by a semipurified protein preparation. Cartilage could be identified in treated cultures at 1 week with muscle from day-9 embryos, not before 2 weeks with muscle from day-12 embryos, and not before 3 weeks with muscle from day-19 embryos. The ability to respond to this water-soluble fraction by exhibiting cartilage differentiation was dosedependent, but not confined to any particular muscle region of the day-12 embryonic leg. These observations indicate that bone-derived soluble chondroinductive agents act on cells in minced embryonic muscle preparations. The induction of cartilage is dependent upon the accessibility of the responding cells to the agents, on the concentration of inductive agents, and on the developmental age of the responsive tissue.