Articular chondrocyte tenascin-C production and assembly into de novo extracellular matrix.
Tenascin-C is an oligomeric glycoprotein of the extracellular matrix that is expressed in a variety of processes including development, tissue remodeling, wound healing, cell adhesion/antiadhesion, and cell/matrix interactions. Tenascin has recently been acknowledged as a component of the extracellular matrix of articular cartilage, but its function remains unclear. In this study, bovine articular chondrocytes were grown in alginate beads for 35 days to examine the kinetics of tenascin synthesis and incorporation into de novo extracellular matrix. During the culture period, 6 harvest days were established in which culture medium was recovered, alginate beads were dissociated with an EDTA solution, and chondrocytes were collected and lysed by sonication. Total DNA determination performed on the cell lysates demonstrated chondrocyte survival and proliferation. Western blotting performed on the medium, EDTA/alginate, and lysate samples demonstrated the production of both the 220 and 320 kDa tenascin size variants and their differential compartmentalization within the culture system. Tenascin was incorporated into the alginate bead matrix at a constant rate of 3.8 micrograms/day. The 320 kDa variant was produced in higher quantity, but the 220 kDa fragment was twice as likely to be incorporated into the de novo matrix. Methylene blue/acid fuchsin staining and tenascin immunohistochemistry demonstrated the incorporation of tenascin into a progressively expanding matrix surrounding the chondrocytes. The results suggest a role for tenascin in the assembly of the chondrocyte matrix and as a soluble mediator of chondrocytes with possible diverse functions for the tenascin size variants.
Savarese, JJ; Erickson, H; Scully, SP
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