Caprine articular, meniscus and intervertebral disc cartilage: an integral analysis of collagen network and chondrocytes

L.A. Vonk, R.J. Kroeze, B.Z. Doulabi, R.J. Hoogendoorn, C. Huang, M.N. Helder, V. Everts, R.A. Bank

    Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    Cartilage is a tissue with only limited reparative capacities. A small part of its volume is composed of cells,
    the remaining part being the hydrated extracellular matrix (ECM) with collagens and proteoglycans as its
    main constituents. The functioning of cartilage depends heavily on its ECM. Although it is known that the
    various (fibro)cartilaginous tissues (articular cartilage, annulus fibrosus, nucleus pulposus, and meniscus)
    differ from one each other with respect to their molecular make-up, remarkable little quantitative
    information is available with respect to its biochemical constituents, such as collagen content, or the various
    posttranslational modifications of collagen. Furthermore, we have noticed that tissue-engineering strategies
    to replace cartilaginous tissues pay in general little attention to the biochemical differences of the tissues or
    the phenotypical differences of the (fibro)chondrocytes under consideration. The goal of this paper is
    therefore to provide quantitative biochemical data from these tissues as a reference for further studies. We
    have chosen the goat as the source of these tissues, as this animal is widely accepted as an animal model in
    orthopaedic studies, e.g. in the field of cartilage degeneration and tissue engineering. Furthermore, we
    provide data on mRNA levels (from genes encoding proteins/enzymes involved in the synthesis and
    degradation of the ECM) from (fibro)chondrocytes that are freshly isolated from these tissues and from the
    same (fibro)chondrocytes that are cultured for 18 days in alginate beads. Expression levels of genes involved
    in the cross-linking of collagen were different between cells isolated from various cartilaginous tissues. This
    opens the possibility to include more markers than the commonly used chondrogenic markers type II
    collagen and aggrecan for cartilage tissue-engineering applications.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)209-218
    JournalMatrix Biology
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2010


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