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Int Rev Cytol. 2004;233:1-45.

Biology of fibrocartilage cells.

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  • 1School of Biosciences, Cardiff University, Cardiff CF10 3US, United Kingdom.


Fibrocartilage is an avascular tissue that is best documented in menisci, intervertebral discs, tendons, ligaments, and the temporomandibular joint. Several of these sites are of particular interest to those in the emerging field of tissue engineering. Fibrocartilage cells frequently resemble chondrocytes in having prominent rough endoplasmic reticulum, many glycogen granules, and lipid droplets, and intermediate filaments together with and actin stress fibers that help to determine cell organization in the intervertebral disc. Fibrocartilage cells can synthesize a variety of matrix molecules including collagens, proteoglycans, and noncollagenous proteins. All the fibrillar collagens (types I, II, III, V, and XI) have been reported, together with FACIT (types IX and XII) and network-forming collagens (types VI and X). The proteoglycans include large, aggregating types (aggrecan and versican) and small, leucine-rich types (decorin, biglycan, lumican, and fibromodulin). Less attention has been paid to noncollagenous proteins, although tenascin-C expression may be modulated by mechanical strain. As in hyaline cartilage, matrix metalloproteinases are important in matrix turnover and fibrocartilage cells are capable of apoptosis.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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