Heparan sulfate biosynthesis by embryonic tissues and primary fibroblast populations

Gary W. Conrad, Gerald Warren Hart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Fibroblasts from cornea, heart, and skin of day 14 embryonic chicks demonstrate the ability to make heparan sulfate-like polysaccharide when examined during the 10 hr period immediately following their removal from the embryo. Both the whole tissues from which these fibroblasts are isolated and the fibroblasts grown for 2-5 weeks in vitro also synthesize heparan sulfate. During their first few days in vitro, the three fibroblast populations display increasing rates of [35S]-sulfate and d-[1-3H]-Glucosamine incorporation into glycosaminoglycans and sharp fluctuations of those rates, yet the percentage of total [35S]-sulfate incorporated into heparan sulfate-like polysaccharide and the distribution of this polysaccharide between cells and nutrient medium do not change significantly. During their first 48 hr in vitro, skin fibroblasts, but not those from cornea or heart, show steadily decreasing discrepancies between the proportions of [35S]-sulfate and d-[1-3H]-Glucosamine incorporated into heparan sulfate, suggesting a sharp decline in the synthesis of nonsulfated glycosaminoglycans. These data support the hypothesis of Kraemer than many cell-types in vivo may normally make heparan sulfate. The data largely eliminate the hypothesis that the biosynthesis of this polysaccharide is selectively stimulated as embryonic cells adapt to growth in vitro.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)253-269
Number of pages17
JournalDevelopmental Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1975
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology


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