Immunohistochemical Evaluation of Collagen XIa1 on Skeletal Morphogenesis
Collagen, the most abundant protein in the body, can be found throughout in a variety of places including tendons, skin, ligaments, interstitial tissues, dentin, blood vessels, the cornea, intervertebral discs, muscle, bone, and cartilage. Collagen type XI, a minor and essential component of cartilage, is located within the extracellular matrix (ECM) of chondrocytes, found to associate with a variety of cartilage matrix constituents, and is known to play role in the regulation of fibrillogenesis. Type XI collagen is a heterotrimeric protein – three alpha chains, (α1, α2, α3) organized in a triple helix. Collagen α1XI plays a role in the formation of bone and other connective tissues. Mutations in the COLXIA1 gene are associated with both Stickler’s and Marshall’s syndrome in humans. Further, a COLXIa1 deletion in mice is lethal; these Chondrodysplasia (CHO) mice die at birth due to skeletal abnormalities. For the purposes of this study, several antibodies specific to the host of extracellular proteins were utilized in an immunohistochemical investigation in which serial sections of wild-type and Cho mice were stained. Whole image scans were acquired and evaluated as a method for determining the impact of Collagen XIa1 on skeletal morphogenesis.