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J Histochem Cytochem. 1998 Jun;46(6):723-9.

ADAM-10 message is expressed in human articular cartilage.

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Department of Biochemistry, Rush Medical College at Rush-Presbyterian-St Luke's Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois 60612, USA.


The depletion of the pericellular and territorial matrices in articular cartilage is considered to be one of the earliest events in pathobiology of osteoarthritis (OA). A newly discovered family of proteins with a disintegrin-like and metalloproteinase-like domain (ADAM) may be involved in matrix degradation as well as in cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions. The purpose of this study was to determine by in situ hybridization whether human articular chondrocytes from newborn, normal adult, and OA cartilages express messenger RNA for ADAM-10, one of the members of this family, and by semiquantitative RT-PCR to compare the levels of this expression. The results confirmed the expression of ADAM-10 by human articular chondrocytes and revealed the highest levels of expression in the continuously remodeling cartilage of newborns and the most fibrillated areas of OA cartilage, especially the regions of cell clusters. Importantly, ADAM-10 mRNA expression was evident in tissues with the greatest loss of Safranin O staining from the territorial and interterritorial matrix of the chondrocytes. Messenger RNA was upregulated in OA tissue compared to the age-matched normal cartilage, as detected by RT-PCR. Upregulated levels of ADAM-10 mRNA expression appear to be related to the degree of cartilage damage and/or degradation, which suggests a potential role for at least one member of this new family in the cartilage matrix destruction accompanying OA.

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