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J Orthop Res. 1989;7(2):219-27.

Effects of chondroitinase-ABC on proteoglycans and swelling properties of fibrocartilage in bovine flexor tendon.

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Department of Biology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque 87131.


Fibrocartilaginous regions of bovine deep flexor tendon were treated with chondroitinase-ABC and trypsin in order to extract proteoglycans from the extracellular matrix and thereby investigate the contribution of proteoglycan and collagen organization to tissue material properties. Chondroitinase-ABC digestion of tendon specimens for 24 h resulted in extraction of 60% of tissue glycosaminoglycan and leaching of the degraded large proteoglycan from the tissue residue. The totally degraded core protein of the small dermatan sulfate proteoglycan remained with the tissue residue, indicating that it is specifically associated with the tissue residue and that this association is not dependent on the glycosaminoglycan chains. Treatment of residues with trypsin after chondroitinase-ABC digestion depleted the specimens of proteoglycan. Bulk swelling tests on enzyme-extracted specimens showed that the distinct swelling properties of the fibrocartilaginous regions of the distal flexor tendon could be partially accounted for by elevated levels of proteoglycan. Swelling tests also showed that the distinct collagen organization of this region contributes significantly to the tissue's material properties. These results suggest that the fibrocartilaginous organization and composition of the articulating layer of distal tendon are adapted for mechanical requirements unique to this site, which receives compressive and frictional loads in addition to tensile loads.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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