Gene expression profiles of dynamically compressed single chondrocytes and chondrons

Guy Hilton Research Centre, Institute for Science & Technology in Medicine, University of Keele, Thornburrow Drive, Hartshill, Stoke-on-Trent ST4 7QB, UK; School of Chemical Engineering, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, UK
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications (Impact Factor: 2.41). 01/2009; DOI: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2008.12.111

ABSTRACT A chondrocyte produces a hydrated pericellular matrix (PCM); together they form a chondron. Previous work has shown that the presence of the PCM influences the biological response of chondrocytes to loading. The objective of this study was to determine the gene expression profiles of enzymatically isolated single chondrocytes and chondrons in response to dynamic compression. Cartilage specific extracellular matrix components and transcription factors were examined. Following dynamic compression, chondrocytes and chondrons showed variations in gene expression profiles. Aggrecan, Type II collagen and osteopontin gene expression were significantly increased in chondrons. Lubricin gene expression decreased in both chondrons and chondrocytes. Dynamic compression had no effect on SOX9 gene expression. Our results demonstrate a clear role for the PCM in interfacing the mechanical signalling in chondrocytes in response to dynamic compression. Further investigation of single chondrocytes and chondrons from different zones within articular cartilage may further our understanding of cartilage mechanobiology.

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