A disintegrin and metalloproteinase with thrombospondin motif (adamalysin-thrombospondins, ADAMTS) degrades aggrecan, one of the major extracellular matrix (ECM) components in cartilage. Mandibular condylar cartilage differs from primary cartilage, such as articular and growth plate cartilage, in its metabolism of ECM, proliferation, and differentiation. Mandibular condylar cartilage acts as both articular and growth plate cartilage in the growing period, while it remains as articular cartilage after growth. We hypothesized that functional and ECM differences between condylar and primary cartilages give rise to differences in gene expression patterns and levels of aggrecan and ADAMTS-1, -4, and -5 during growth and aging. We employed in situ hybridization and semiquantitative RT-PCR to identify mRNA expression for these molecules in condylar cartilage and primary cartilages during growth and aging. All of the ADAMTSs presented characteristic, age-dependent expression patterns and levels among the cartilages tested in this study. ADAMTS-5 mainly contributed to ECM metabolism in growth plate and condylar cartilage during growth. ADAMTS-1 and ADAMTS-4 may be involved in ECM turn over in articular cartilage. The results of the present study reveal that ECM metabolism and expression of related proteolytic enzymes in primary and secondary cartilages may be differentially regulated during growth and aging.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Medical Laboratory Technology
- Cell Biology