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Cartilage is a connective tissue presenting in several forms that are all essential components of the vertebrate skeleton. Complementing in vivo models, cultures of its resident cells-chondrocytes-are important experimental models in mechanistic and preclinical studies relevant to skeletal development and adult homeostasis and to such human pathologies as chondrodysplasias and osteoarthritis. Both growth plate and articular chondrocytes produce pancartilaginous extracellular matrix components, but the two cell subtypes also have distinct phenotypic properties that account for different structural features, functions, and fates of their tissues. Based on study goals, primary chondrocyte cultures should therefore be established from either growth plate or articular cartilage. Here, we describe the methods used in our laboratory to isolate and culture growth plate and articular chondrocytes from neonatal and adult mice, respectively. Both methods involve manual and enzymatic procedures to clean cartilage samples from contaminating tissues and to release chondrocytes as single-cell suspensions from their cartilage matrix.


Abdul Haseeb, Véronique Lefebvre. Isolation of Mouse Growth Plate and Articular Chondrocytes for Primary Cultures. Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.). 2021;2245:39-51

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PMID: 33315194

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