Coculture of bovine cartilage with synovium and fibrous joint capsule increases aggrecanase and matrix metalloproteinase activity

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Background: A hallmark of osteoarthritis is increased proteolytic cleavage of aggrecan. Cross talk between cartilage and the synovium + joint capsule (SJC) can drive cartilage degradation by activating proteases in both tissues. We investigated aggrecan proteolysis patterns in cartilage explants using a physiologically relevant explant model of joint injury combining cartilage mechanical compression and coincubation with SJC. Methods: Bovine cartilage explants were untreated; coincubated with SJC; or subjected to mechanical injury and coincubated with SJC, mechanical injury alone, or mechanical injury and incubated with tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α). To compare the patterns of aggrecan proteolysis between 6 h and 16 days, release of sulfated glycosaminoglycans and specific proteolytic aggrecan fragments into medium or remaining in cartilage explants was measured by dimethylmethylene blue and Western blot analysis. Results: Aggrecanase activity toward aggrecan was observed in all conditions, but it was directed toward the TEGE↓ARGS interglobular domain (IGD) site only when cartilage was coincubated with SJC or TNF-α. Matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) activity at the aggrecan IGD site (IPES↓FFGV) was not detected when cartilage was exposed to TNF-α (up to 6 days), but it was in all other conditions. Compared with when bovine cartilage was left untreated or subjected to mechanical injury alone, additional aggrecan fragment types were released into medium and proteolysis of aggrecan started at an earlier time when SJC was present. Conclusions: Indicative of different proteolytic pathways for aggrecan degradation, the SJC increases both aggrecanase and MMP activity toward aggrecan, whereas TNF-α inhibits MMP activity against the IGD of aggrecan.


Enheter & grupper
Externa organisationer
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Lund University

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Reumatologi och inflammation


TidskriftArthritis Research and Therapy
Utgåva nummer1
StatusPublished - 2017 jul 5
Peer review utfördJa