Immunohistochemical analysis of ageing and osteoarthritic articular cartilage
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Articular cartilage degeneration seen in osteoarthritis is primarily the consequence of events within the articular cartilage that leads to the production of proteases by chondrocytes. 22 osteoarthritic cartilage specimens were obtained from patients with primary osteoarthritis (46–81 years) undergoing total knee replacement. 12 age-matched (41–86 years) and 16 young (16–40 years) non-osteoarthritic control cartilage specimens were obtained from the cadavers in the department of Anatomy and from patients undergoing lower limb amputation in Trauma center of PGIMER, Chandigarh. 5 μ thick paraffin sections were stained for osteocalcin, osteopontin, osteonectin and alkaline phosphatase to analyze their expression in hypertrophied chondrocytes and osteoarthritic cartilage matrix and to compare the staining intensity with that of normal ageing articular cartilage. Immunohistochemical staining of tissue sections revealed moderate to strong cytoplasmic staining for all four stains in all the specimens of the osteoarthritic group compared to age-matched control. The immunohistochemical scores were significantly higher in the osteoarthritic group for all four stains. The features of the osteoarthritic articular cartilage were markedly different from the non-osteoarthritic age-matched articular cartilage suggesting that osteoarthritis is not an inevitable feature of aging.
KeywordsCartilage Collagen Osteoarthritis Osteocalcin Osteonectin Osteopontin
The authors wish to thank the Indian Council of Medical Research, New Delhi for providing financial assistance for this research work.