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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2007 Nov 23;363(3):694-700. Epub 2007 Sep 19.

Doublecortin is expressed in articular chondrocytes.

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Lawrence Ellison Center for Tissue Regeneration and Repair, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, School of Medicine, University of California-Davis, 4635 Second Avenue, Room 2000, Sacramento, CA 95817, USA.


Articular cartilage and cartilage in the embryonic cartilaginous anlagen and growth plates are both hyaline cartilages. In this study, we found that doublecortin (DCX) was expressed in articular chondrocytes but not in chondrocytes from the cartilaginous anlagen or growth plates. DCX was expressed by the cells in the chondrogenous layers but not intermediate layer of joint interzone. Furthermore, the synovium and cruciate ligaments were DCX-negative. DCX-positive chondrocytes were very rare in tissue engineered cartilage derived from in vitro pellet culture of rat chondrosarcoma, ATDC5, and C3H10T1/2 cells. However, the new hyaline cartilage formed in rabbit knee defect contained mostly DCX-positive chondrocytes. Our results demonstrate that DCX can be used as a marker to distinguish articular chondrocytes from other chondrocytes and to evaluate the quality of tissue engineered or regenerated cartilage in terms of their "articular" or "non-articular" nature.

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