Mucopolysaccharides (glucosaminoglycans, GAGs) were extracted from otosclerotic and non-otosclerotic human stapes footplate, stapes superstructure and guinea pig stapes footplate. Cellulose acetate electrophoresis revealed an unknown highly anionic band (Rf=1.05) beside the conventional hyaluronic acid, chondroitin sulfate and heparan sulfate fractions. Chemical analysis resulted in a high sulfate/hexosamine molar ratio in the otosclerotic GAG extract (1.7 and 1.9) and a very low ratio in non-otosclerotic human stapes and normal guinea pig stapes footplate GAG extract (0.20 and 0.21, respectively). Hex-uronic acid content was highest in guinea pig stapes GAG preparation. Our results serve as indirect evidence of the presence of an oversulfated GAG fraction in the otosclerotic bone, which can potentially initiate otosclerotic bone resorption.
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