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MONTRULL, Hilda L. et al. Structure and secretory activity of cultured chondrocytes from patients with osteoarthritis. Biocell [online]. 2005, vol.29, n.2, pp.163-167. ISSN 0327-9545.

Cartilage samples were taken from OA patients in order to describe and quantify pro-inflammatory mediators. Samples were cultured under aseptic conditions in Dulbecco's modified Eagle medium at 37°C for 10 days. Control samples, taken from non-inflammatory cartilage, were cultured under the same conditions. The levels of NO-2 and NO-3 were measured in the supernatant using a spectrophotometric assay. The activity of MMP-1 was quantified by ELISA. The concentration of NO-x was 47.3 ± 4.1 µM in the OA cartilague and 10.7 ± 1.8 µM in the controls. The average MMP-1 activity was 3,650 ± 387 ng/ml in the OA cartilage and 2,150 ± 190 ng/ml in the control samples. These increased values of MMP-1 and NO-x observed in the OA cartilage suggest a higher catabolic activity. A morphological analysis of OA chondral tissue using light microscopy shows that the surface of the tissue is characterized by the presence of aggregated chondrocytes or &"clones&" but in the deeper areas isolated cells are found. These results could be a significant contribution towards the identification of biological markers indicating the presence of OA activity.

Keywords : Osteoarthritis; Chondrocytes; Collagenase.

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