Type-VI collagen is an integral part of the extracellular cartilage matrix. However, the exact amounts of type-VI collagen in normal and osteoarthritic human cartilage still are not known. In this study, we describe an inhibition enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay that was developed to quantitate type-VI collagen epitopes found in guanidinium chloride extracts from normal and osteoarthritic human cartilage. In 31 cartilage samples from various localizations of healthy adult human knees, type-VI collagen epitopes accounted for approximately 0.40% of the total collagen content. Interestingly, type-VI collagen epitopes increased about 4-fold in osteoarthritic cartilage. A statistically significant increase of type-VI collagen epitopes was found during early stages of the disease, with only a superficial toughening of the cartilage surface and a loss of proteoglycans. Thus, these findings indicate that type-VI collagen is a minor component of normal human articular cartilage and that the amount of type-VI collagen epitopes increases significantly during early stages of osteoarthritis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine