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Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2009 Jan;17(1):83-90. doi: 10.1016/j.joca.2008.05.008. Epub 2008 Jun 24.

Comparative analysis of gene expression profiles between the normal human cartilage and the one with endemic osteoarthritis.

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Faculty of Public Health, College of Medicine, Key Laboratory of Environment and Gene Related Diseases of Ministry Education, Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an, Shaanxi 710061, PR China.



To investigate the differences in gene expression profiles of adult articular cartilage with endemic osteoarthritis (OA), Kashin-Beck disease (KBD), and the same regions in the normal joint.


The messenger RNA expression profiles of articular cartilage with KBD diagnosed according to "Diagnosing Criteria of Kashin-Beck Disease in China" were compared with the normal cartilage. Total RNA isolated separately from four pairs of the KBD and normal cartilage samples were evaluated by oligonucleotide microarray analysis. The microarray data were confirmed by quantitative real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) amplification and were compared with previously published experiments.


About 4100 transcripts, which corresponded to 35% of the expressed transcripts, showed >or=twofold differences in expression between the cartilage tissues in pairs. Approximately 2% of the expressed genes (79, 55 genes expressed in KBD>normal; 24 genes expressed in KBD<normal) were commonly expressed in the four pairs of samples. The expression of some genes related to the metabolism, apoptosis, cell proliferation and matrix degradation activity was significantly different in KBD cartilage than in the normal, similar to the findings for genes that inhibit matrix degradation. Comparisons of qRT-PCR data and the previously reported data with the result of gene chips support the validity of our microarray data.


Differences between KBD cartilage and the normal exhibited a similar pattern among the four pairs examined, indicating the presence of common mechanisms mainly including chondrocyte metabolism and apoptosis that contribute to cartilage destruction in KBD.

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