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J Rheumatol. 1996 Jun;23(6):1022-30.

Presence of ED-A containing fibronectin in human articular cartilage from patients with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

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Department of Rheumatology, Hopital Henri-Mondor, Creteil, France.



To determine whether normal (fetal and adult) and osteoarthritic (OA) and rheumatoid arthritic (RA) cartilage express a specific isoform of fibronectin, the extra domain A (ED-A) containing fibronectin (EDA+Fn).


Presence of fibronectin (EDA+Fn and native molecule) in cartilage matrix was studied using immunohistochemical assays with specific monoclonal antibodies. Fibronectins were identified by Western blots, in synovial fluids (SF) and cartilage extracts.


EDA+Fn was either moderately present in the surface zone or undetectable in normal cartilage, while it was increased in OA cartilage surface. In one OA cartilage sample, EDA+Fn was localized in the matrix distant from the cartilage surface (patches of staining) and its presence was confirmed by immunoblotting. In RA cartilage EDA+Fn was present in the pericellular areas of the different layers. By Western blots, the presence of EDA+Fn was confirmed in OA SF (2/3) and RA SF (3/3) (with different patterns of fragmentation).


EDA+Fn generally accumulates in the surface zone of OA cartilage, where it may play a role in extracellular matrix remodelling. Its presence was more abundant in SF and in cartilage from patients with RA.

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