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Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2010 Dec;18(12):1630-8. doi: 10.1016/j.joca.2010.10.002. Epub 2010 Oct 13.

Identification of molecular markers for articular cartilage.

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  • 1Department for Osteology and Biomechanics, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The aim of the current study was to identify molecular markers for articular cartilage (AC) that can be used as tools for the quality control of tissue engineered (TE) cartilage.

DESIGN:

A genome-wide expression analysis was performed using RNA isolated from articular and growth plate (GP) cartilage, both extracted from the knee joints of 6 weeks old minipigs. After confirming the specific expression for selected genes by RT-PCR, these were used as molecular markers for the quality control of TE cartilage.

RESULTS:

Albeit several known chondrocyte markers were expressed to a similar extent in articular and GP cartilage, our genome-wide expression analysis led us to identify genes being selectively expressed in either GP or articular chondrocytes. These findings led us to perform a RT-PCR expression analysis for the corresponding genes to demonstrate the absence of GP-specific markers in TE cartilage, while common or AC markers were expressed.

CONCLUSIONS:

Taken together, these results provide important novel insights into chondrocyte biology in general and AC in particular. In addition, it is reasonable to speculate, that some of the identified genes play distinct roles in the regulation of articular chondrocyte differentiation and/or function, thereby raising the possibility that they may serve as targets for non-operative therapies of osteoarthritis (OA).

Copyright © 2010 Osteoarthritis Research Society International. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

PMID:
20950698
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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