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J Biochem. 1991 Nov;110(5):714-8.

Fluorophores from aging human articular cartilage.

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  • 1Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Hamamatsu University School of Medicine, Shizuoka.


Human articular cartilages of various ages were digested with collagenase, and the fluorescence of the digests was measured as a function of age. At acidic pH, all collagenase-treated fractions were found to contain two main fluorophores with fluorescence maxima at 395 and 385 nm (excitation at 295 and 335 nm, respectively). Each fluorophore was isolated from the hydrolysate and its structure was deduced from spectral and chemical data. The 395/295 nm fluorophore was identified as pyridinoline, which is one of the non-reducible cross-linkages in collagen. The 385/335 nm fluorophore was identical to pentosidine, which was isolated from human dura mater and characterized by Sell and Monnier in 1989. Our results showed that the amount of pentosidine per collagen in human articular cartilage increases linearly with age (r = 0.929, p less than 0.005), while the amount of pyridinoline per collagen remained constant and was not correlated with age (r = 0.20). On the other hand, the amount of pentosidine per pyridinoline increased exponentially during life (r2 = 0.839, p less than 0.05).

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