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  1. Chong PP, Panjavarnam P, Ahmad WNHW, Chan CK, Abbas AA, Merican AM, et al.
    Clin Biomech (Bristol, Avon), 2020 10;79:105178.
    PMID: 32988676 DOI: 10.1016/j.clinbiomech.2020.105178
    BACKGROUND: Cartilage damage, which can potentially lead to osteoarthritis, is a leading cause of morbidity in the elderly population. Chondrocytes are sensitive to mechanical stimuli and their matrix-protein synthesis may be altered when chondrocytes experience a variety of in vivo loadings. Therefore, a study was conducted to evaluate the biosynthesis of isolated osteoarthritic chondrocytes which subjected to compression with varying dynamic compressive strains and loading durations.

    METHODS: The proximal tibia was resected as a single osteochondral unit during total knee replacement from patients (N = 10). The osteoarthritic chondrocytes were isolated from the osteochondral units, and characterized using reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction. The isolated osteoarthritic chondrocytes were cultured and embedded in agarose, and then subjected to 10% and 20% uniaxial dynamic compression up to 8-days using a bioreactor. The morphological features and changes in the osteoarthritic chondrocytes upon compression were evaluated using scanning electron microscopy. Safranin O was used to detect the presence of cartilage matrix proteoglycan expression while quantitative analysis was conducted by measuring type VI collagen using an immunohistochemistry and fluorescence intensity assay.

    FINDINGS: Gene expression analysis indicated that the isolated osteoarthritic chondrocytes expressed chondrocyte-specific markers, including BGN, CD90 and HSPG-2. Moreover, the compressed osteoarthritic chondrocytes showed a more intense and broader deposition of proteoglycan and type VI collagen than control. The expression of type VI collagen was directly proportional to the duration of compression in which 8-days compression was significantly higher than 4-days compression. The 20% compression showed significantly higher intensity compared to 10% compression in 4- and 8-days.

    INTERPRETATION: The biosynthetic activity of human chondrocytes from osteoarthritic joints can be enhanced using selected compression regimes.

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