Nov 24, 1999

Development and aging of the articular cartilage of the rabbit knee joint: Distribution of biglycan, decorin, and matrilin-1

The Journal of Histochemistry and Cytochemistry : Official Journal of the Histochemistry Society
E Kavanagh, D E Ashhurst


We determined the distributions of the small proteoglycans biglycan and decorin and the glycoprotein matrilin-1 (cartilage matrix protein) during development and aging of articular cartilage in the rabbit knee joint. Before cavitation, the matrices of the interzone and the adjacent epiphyseal cartilage do not contain biglycan or decorin, but some chondrocytes express their mRNAs. Matrilin-1 is found only in the deeper epiphyseal cartilage. After cavitation, biglycan and decorin are detected in the presumptive articular cartilage, but there is no matrilin-1. All are present in the underlying epiphyseal cartilage. In the neonate, the epiphyseal cartilage is ossified and the articular cartilage becomes a discrete layer. Biglycan and decorin accumulate in the articular cartilage, but matrilin-1 remains confined to the residual epiphyseal cartilage. In the adult, the distributions of biglycan and decorin are highly variable. Decorin tends to be confined to the central region; matrilin-1 is absent. The findings indicate that the articular and epiphyseal cartilages are different from the earliest developmental stages. The epiphyseal cartilage can be identified by its possession of matrilin-1. Epiphyseal cartilage is removed during dev...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Fetal Structures
Collagen Diseases
Fibrillar Collagen
Structure of Articular Cartilage
Cartilage matrix protein

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