Variation of cell and matrix morphologies in articular cartilage among locations in the adult human knee

Quinn, Thomas M; Hunziker, Ernst B; Häuselmann, Hans-Jörg (2005). Variation of cell and matrix morphologies in articular cartilage among locations in the adult human knee. Osteoarthritis and cartilage, 13(8), pp. 672-8. Amsterdam: Elsevier 10.1016/j.joca.2005.04.011

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OBJECTIVE: Understanding of articular cartilage physiology, remodelling mechanisms, and evaluation of tissue engineering repair methods requires reference information regarding normal structural organization. Our goals were to examine the variation of cartilage cell and matrix morphology in different topographical areas of the adult human knee joint. METHODS: Osteochondral explants were acquired from seven distinct anatomical locations of the knee joints of deceased persons aged 20-40 years and prepared for analysis of cell, matrix and tissue morphology using confocal microscopy and unbiased stereological methods. Differences between locations were identified by statistical analysis. RESULTS: Medial femoral condyle cartilage had relatively high cell surface area per unit tissue volume in the superficial zone. In the transitional zone, meniscus-covered lateral tibia cartilage showed elevated chondrocyte densities compared to the rest of the knee while lateral femoral condyle cartilage exhibited particularly large chondrocytes. Statistical analyses indicated highly uniform morphology throughout the radial zone (lower 80% of cartilage thickness) in the knee, and strong similarities in cell and matrix morphologies among cartilage from the femoral condyles and also in the mediocentral tibial plateau. Throughout the adult human knee, the mean matrix volume per chondron was remarkably constant at approximately 224,000 microm(3), corresponding to approximately 4.6 x 10(6) chondrons per cm(3). CONCLUSIONS: The uniformity of matrix volume per chondron throughout the adult human knee suggests that cell-scale biophysical and metabolic constraints may place limitations on cartilage thickness, mechanical properties, and remodelling mechanisms. Data may also aid the evaluation of cartilage tissue engineering treatments in a site-specific manner. Results indicate that joint locations which perform similar biomechanical functions have similar cell and matrix morphologies; findings may therefore also provide clues to understanding conditions under which focal lesions leading to osteoarthritis may occur.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > BioMedical Research (DBMR) > DBMR Forschung Mu35 > Forschungsgruppe Orthopädische Chirurgie
04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > BioMedical Research (DBMR) > DBMR Forschung Mu35 > Forschungsgruppe Orthopädische Chirurgie

UniBE Contributor:

Hunziker, Ernst Bruno

ISSN:

1063-4584

Publisher:

Elsevier

Language:

English

Submitter:

Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 15:12

Last Modified:

04 May 2014 23:23

Publisher DOI:

10.1016/j.joca.2005.04.011

PubMed ID:

15970445

Web of Science ID:

000231213500004

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/31682 (FactScience: 196341)

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