Letter | Published:

Mucopolysaccharides from Cartilage and Nucleus Pulposus

Naturevolume 180pages13411342 (1957) | Download Citation



Meyer and Rapport1 described the isolation from hyaline cartilage of two chondroitin sulphates, A and C. The only differences so far reported2 between these are in the specific optical rotation and alcohol solubility of their calcium, salts. Orr3 found that chondroitin sulphate from cartilage gives an infra-red spectrum which suggests that the product is a mixture of two isomers, A and B (see below). By counter-current electrophoresis he was able to obtain the faster component of this mixture, which exhibited in the 700–1,000 cm.−1 region 3 bands, at 928, 855 and 725 cm.−1, respectively, and was called the A isomer. The B isomer, on the other hand, was isolated alone in a well-defined form from the nucleus pulposus and showed two bands at 825 and 775 cm.−1, respectively. Meyer et al. 2 pointed out the similarity between Orr's B isomer and chondroitin sulphate C. On the other hand, both A types show the same optical rotation and origin. The following results seem to give a different picture of the mucopolysaccharides of cartilage and nucleus pulposus.

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    Meyer, K., and Rapport, M. M., Science, 113, 596 (1951).

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    Hall, D. A., Lloyd, P. F., Happey, F., Horton, W. G., and Naylor, A., Nature, 179, 1078 (1957).

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    Present address: Division of Applied Biology, National Research Council, Ottawa, Canada


  1. Department of Textile Industries, Institute of Technology, Bradford

    •  & F. HAPPEY
  2. Royal Infirmary, Bradford

    • A. NAYLOR


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