Educational Forum with Clinical Studies Current Science and Research

June 17, 2011

Collagen synthesis of articular cartilage explants in response to frequency of cyclic mechanical loading. Xanya Sofra Weiss

Filed under: Xanya Sofra Weiss — Tags: — Dr. Xanya @ 6:28 am

Articular cartilage in vivo experiences the effects of both cell-regulatory proteins and mechanical forces. This study has addressed the hypothesis that the frequency of intermittently or continuously applied mechanical loads is a critical parameter in the regulation of chondrocyte collagen biosynthesis. Cyclic compressive pressure was applied intermittently to bovine articular cartilage explants by using a sinusoidal waveform of 0.1–1.0 Hz frequency with a peak stress of 0.5 MPa for a period of 5–20 s followed by a load-free period of 10–1,000 s. These loading protocols were repeated for a total duration of 6 days. In separate experiments, cyclic loading was continuously applied by using a sinusoidal waveform of 0.001–0.5 Hz frequency and a peak stress of 1.0 MPa for a period of 3 days. Unloaded cartilage discs of the same condyle were cultured in identically constructed loading chambers and served as controls. We report quantitative data showing that (1) no correlation exists between the relative rate of collagen synthesis expressed as the proportion of newly synthesized collagen among newly made proteins and either the frequency of intermittently or continuously applied loads or the overall time cartilage is actively loaded, and (2) individual protocols of intermittently applied loads can reduce the relative rate of collagen synthesis and increase the water content, whereas (3) continuously applied cyclic loads always suppress the relative rate of collagen synthesis compared with that of unloaded control specimens. The results provide further experimental evidence that collagen metabolism is difficult to manipulate by mechanical stimuli. This is physiologically important for the maintainance of the material properties of collagen in view of the heavy mechanical demands made upon it. Moreover, the unaltered or reduced collagen synthesis of cartilage explants might reflect more closely the metabolism of normal or early human osteoarthritic cartilage.

Xanya Sofra Weiss

Xanya Sofra Weiss

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