Low oxygen tension may change the dependence of chondrocytes on exogenous carbohydrate sources. In this study, we have investigated whether glucosamine sulphate (GS) stimulates proteoglycan synthesis, the mRNA expression of aggrecan and of type II collagen, and UDP-sugar levels in bovine primary chondrocytes under a low oxygen (O2) atmosphere. Chondrocytes from bovine femoral condyles were cultivated with or without GS or sulphate at various concentrations in low- (5.5 mM) or high-glucose (25 mM) DMEM under either a 5% or 20% O2 atmosphere for 2 or 8 days after isolation. The mRNA expression of aggrecan and type II collagen and the synthesis of glycosaminoglycan (GAG) were determined by quantitative real-time reverse transcription with polymerase chain reaction and a [35S]-sulphate incorporation assay, respectively. Aggrecan promoter activity was analysed by a dual-luciferase reporter gene assay. Intracellular UDP-N-acetylhexosamines (UDP-HexN), UDP-glucuronic acid and UDP-hexoses were analysed by reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography electrospray ionization mass spectrometry. A low (5%) O2 atmosphere significantly increased GAG synthesis, mRNA expression of aggrecan and of type II collagen and aggrecan promoter activity in bovine primary chondrocytes. A high (1 mM) concentration of GS was required to increase the level of UDP-HexN. However, GS did not increase GAG synthesis, aggrecan promoter activity or mRNA expression of aggrecan and of type II collagen. Interestingly, a 5% O2 atmosphere increased the level of UDP-HexN in 8-day cultures without GS treatment. Thus, exogenous GS does not change chondrocyte metabolism, whereas a 5% O2 atmosphere stimulates extracellular matrix production in bovine primary chondrocytes. The balance of UDP-sugars is changed under a 5% O2 atmosphere for longer culture periods.
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We are grateful to Dr. Hannu Karjalainen for discussions and tests involving reporter gene analysis, to Dr. Kari Törrönen for help with the computer and to Mr. Kari Kotikumpu for his assistance with oxygen tension measurements during this study. We express our special thanks to statistician Mrs. Marja-Leena Hannila for checking the statistical analyses of this study.
This study was supported by the Sigrid Juselius Foundation.
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Qu, CJ., Pöytäkangas, T., Jauhiainen, M. et al. Glucosamine sulphate does not increase extracellular matrix production at low oxygen tension. Cell Tissue Res 337, 103–111 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00441-009-0797-7
- Glucosamine sulphate
- Oxygen tension