Comparison of biochemical characteristics of cultured fibrochondrocytes isolated from the inner and outer regions of human meniscus
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In order to evaluate the ability of fibrochondrocytes to synthesize collagen and proteoglycan, human medial meniscal cells were cultured in a monolayer. Meniscal cells were prepared from the two regions (outer 1/3 and inner 2/3) in consideration of the difference in vascular supply, and articular chondrocytes were also obtained from the same knee joint. Regarding total collagen synthesis, regional differences were not found, but age-related differences were found in human medial meniscus. In contrast, proteoglycan synthesis revealed significant regional differences; meniscal cells from the inner 2/3 synthesized a greater amount of proteoglycan. After long-term monolayer culturing, proteoglycan synthesis by meniscal cells decreased in a time-dependent manner, and morphological changes to fibroblast-like cells were found. In the presence of transforming growth factor (TGF)-β, proteoglycan synthesis increased in a dose-dependent manner. These findings suggest that the inner regions of the human meniscus contain cells with a chondrocytic phenotype.
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