Influences of in vivo and in vitro loading on the proteoglycan synthesis of articular cartilage chondrocytes
Abstract: In this study, the biosynthesis of proteoglycans (PGs) was examined in articular cartilage of canine hip joint after long-distance running experiment and in bovine chondrocyte cultures during in vitro loading with hydrostatic pressure. In addition, new assays were developed for more sensitive quantitation of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) and PGs.Anterior (weight-bearing) and posterior (less weight-bearing) areas of the femoral head from young beagles were labeled after long-term, longdistance running exercise. Total sulpahte incorporation rates were determined and distribution of of the incorporated sulphate in the tissue was localized by quantitative autoradiography. Concentration and extractability of the PGs were determined, and PG structures were studied by gel filtration, agarose gel electrophoresis, and chemical determinations. In the less weight-bearing area, the amount of extractable PGs was decreased, simultaneously with an increased concentration of residual GAGs in the tissue after 4M GuCl extraction. In the weight-bearing area, no marked alterations were noticed. The congruency of the femoral head seems to protect the cartilage from untoward alterations that occur in the femoral head condyles subjected to the same running program.The effect of hydrostatic pressure on PG metabolism of chondrocyte cultures was examined during 20 hours' exposure of chondrocytes to 5 and 30 MPa pressures. The continuous 30 MPa pressure reduced total PG synthesis by 37 % as measured by [35S]sulphate incorporation, in contrast to the 5 MPa which had no effect. Continuous 30 MPa hydrostatic pressure also reduced the steady-state mRNA level of aggrecan. The cyclic pressures showed a frequency dependent stimulation (0.5 Hz, + 11 %) or inhibition (0.017 Hz, -17 %). Aggrecans secreted under continuous 30 MPa pressure showed a retarded migration in 0.75 % SDS-agarose gel electrophoresis and also eluted earlier on Sephacryl S-1000 gel filtration, indicative of larger molecular size. The results demonstrate that high hydostatic pressure can influence the synthesis of PGs in chondrocytes both at the transcriptionl and translational/posttranslational levels.
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