cartilage1.jpg (13239 bytes)

Hyaline cartilage contains cells called chondrocytes embedded in a unique matrix that gives the tissue both strength and flexibility.   Review the components of the matrix.   Find hyaline cartilage in your trachea slide, (45) and look for the chondrocytes housed in their spaces called "lacunae".  The photos are from the trachea slide. Note that some spaces contain more than one chondrocyte...these are daughter cells formed after division. 

Also note the outside of the cartilage tissue is connective tissue called "perichondrium"..  Layers of "chondroblasts" are found in the inner layers.  They give rise to new chondrocytes as they secrete matrix around themselves.  Cartilage can grow from the outside (appositional growth) and from within (interstitial growth).  Considering the absence of blood vessels in cartilage, why do you think the content and organization of the matrix is so important?

cartilage2.jpg (11258 bytes)



ecartilage.jpg (25353 bytes)

The cartilage in the ear contains many elastic fibers and is therefore called "elastic cartilage".  In your slide 19, elastic cartilage can be distinguished by the stain for elastin that brings out the dense bundles.



fcartilage.jpg (115646 bytes)

Slide 10 shows fibrocartilage from an intervertebral disk.  It is distinguished by very scattered, infrequent chondrocytes (see the tiny dark nuclei) and collagen fibers running in the matrix.  The above photo is not from your slide set and shows fibrocartilage better than slide 10.


Back to Table of Contents

Last updated: 02/21/11
@copyright 1998 Gwen V. Childs, Ph.D.
URL Address:

Gwen V. Childs, Ph.D., WebMistress