Peptido-keratan sulphate fragments were isolated from the nucleus pulposus of bovine intervertebral discs (2-year-old animals) after digestion with chondroitin ABC lyase followed by digestion with diphenylcarbamoyl chloride-treated trypsin of A1D1 proteoglycans and gel-permeation chromatography on Sepharose CL-6B. The peptido-keratan sulphate fragments were subjected to alkaline borohydride reduction. The reduced chains were treated with keratanase in the presence of the sialidase inhibitor 2,3-dehydro-2-deoxy-N-acetylneuraminic acid, and the digest was subjected to alkaline borohydride reduction. This produced oligosaccharides with galactitol at their reducing ends. This reduced digest was chromatographed on a Nucleosil 5 SB anion-exchange column and individual oligosaccharides were isolated. One of these was shown by 600 MHz 1H-n.m.r. spectroscopy to have the following structure: NeuAc alpha 2-6Gal beta 1-4GlcNAc(6-SO4)beta 1-3Gal-ol The structure of this oligosaccharide shows that keratan sulphate chains from bovine intervertebral disc have non-reducing termini with N-acetylneuraminic acid linked alpha(2----6) as well as alpha(2----3) to an unsulphated galactose.