The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/ar1922) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
TSC performed the immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization of the normal and OA cartilage. MK is responsible for the Western blots. SK and NM are responsible for the real-time PCR and the overall editing of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
As a member of the thrombospondin gene family, cartilage oligomeric protein (COMP) is found mainly in the extracellular matrix often associated with cartilage tissue. COMP exhibits a wide binding repertoire and has been shown to be involved in the regulation of chondrogenesis in vitro. Not much is known about the role of COMP in human cartilage tissue in vivo. With the help of immunohistochemistry, Western blot, in situ hybridization, and real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, we aimed to elucidate the role of COMP in human embryonic, adult healthy, and osteoarthritis (OA) cartilage tissue. COMP is present during the earliest stages of human limb maturation and is later found in regions where the joints develop. In healthy and diseased cartilage tissue, COMP is secreted by the chondrocytes and is often associated with the collagen fibers. In late stages of OA, five times the COMP mRNA is produced by chondrocytes found in an area adjacent to the main defect than in an area with macroscopically normal appearance. The results indicate that COMP might be involved in human limb development, is upregulated in OA, and due to its wide binding repertoire, could play a role in the pathogenesis of OA as a factor secreted by chondrocytes to ameliorate the matrix breakdown.
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- Cartilage oligomeric matrix protein is involved in human limb development and in the pathogenesis of osteoarthritis
Till Sebastian Clauditz
- BioMed Central
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