Dec 23, 1999

Macromolecular transport across the superficial layer of articular cartilage

Osteoarthritis and Cartilage
M Uesugi, H E Jasin


To study the role of the superficial layer of articular cartilage in the transport of macromolecular solutes. The articular cartilage of intact bovine carpal bones was incubated with(125)I-labeled bovine serum albumin, human IgG, or horse ferritin for 4 hours. Quadruplicate samples were first incubated with polymorphonuclear neutrophil elastase for 30 minutes to remove the outermost layer covering the articular surface. The rates of exchange of each macromolecule from excised tissue explants in the absence of a concentration gradient were measured at six different time points. The results were expressed as the fraction of radioactive protein exiting the cartilage per mm(2)of tissue, or as picomoles of labeled solute per mm(2). Exchange rates correlated well with molecular mass, and no apparent differences were detected between intact and elastase-treated tissues. However, when the results were expressed in terms of the total number of molecules within the tissue, it was apparent that IgG molecules accumulated in the intact cartilage in larger than expected numbers. This finding was not observed in experiments using elastase-treated tissue. These observations suggest that the outermost surface layer does not constitute a barrier...Continue Reading

Mentioned in this Paper

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Entire Articular Cartilage
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