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1.  Procollagen IIC-peptide as a marker for assessing mechanical risk factors of knee osteoarthritis: effect of obesity and varus alignment 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  2000;59(12):982-984.
OBJECTIVE—To ascertain by cross sectional examination whether the concentration of procollagen IIC-peptide in joint fluid significantly correlates with mechanical risk factors of knee osteoarthritis (OA), such as obesity (body mass index) and varus alignment (lateral femorotibial angle).
METHODS—The concentrations of procollagen IIC-propeptide in synovial fluid were measured by a sandwich enzyme immunoassay of 65 patients with the same radiological stage of primary knee OA—that is, Ahlbäk stage I. The relations between procollagen IIC-peptide and body mass index and lateral femorotibial angle were examined using simple regression analysis and multiple regression analysis.
RESULTS—Significant positive correlations were found between procollagen IIC-propeptide concentrations and body mass index (r=0.479, p<0.0001), and between procollagen IIC-propeptide concentrations and lateral femorotibial angle (r=0.375, p=0.0021). Significant correlations were also found by multiple regression analysis. The multiple correlation coefficient of body mass index and femorotibial lateral angle to the procollagen IIC-propeptide concentrations was 0.547 (p<0.0001).
CONCLUSIONS—The findings suggest that synthesis of type II collagen by chondrocytes is enhanced by abnormal mechanical stress, in this case obesity and varus alignment. It is concluded that procollagen IIC-propeptide concentrations in joint fluid are a useful marker of early OA.

PMCID: PMC1753041  PMID: 11087702
2.  Matrix metalloproteinases and tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases in synovial fluids from patients with rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  2000;59(6):455-461.
OBJECTIVE—Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are expressed in joint tissues of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA). The objective of this study was to define the steady state levels of seven different MMPs and two tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMPs) as well as the potential metalloproteinase activity in the synovial fluid (SF) to provide more insight into the role of MMPs in cartilage destruction in RA and OA.
METHODS—Levels of MMP-1, MMP-2, MMP-3, MMP-7, MMP-8, MMP-9, MMP-13, TIMP-1, and TIMP-2 in SF aspirated from knee joints of 97 patients with RA and 103 patients with OA were measured by the corresponding one step sandwich enzyme immunoassays. Proteolytic activity of MMPs in these SFs was examined in an assay using [3H]carboxymethylated transferrin substrate in the presence of inhibitors of serine and cysteine proteinases after activation with p-aminophenylmercuric acetate (APMA). Destruction of RA knee joints was radiographically evaluated.
RESULTS—Levels of MMP-1, MMP-2, MMP-3, MMP-8, and MMP-9 were significantly higher in RA SF than in OA SF. MMP-7 and MMP-13 were detectable in more than 45% of RA SFs and in less than 20% of OA SFs, respectively. Among the MMPs examined, MMP-3 levels were extremely high compared with those of other MMPs. Direct correlations were seen between the levels of MMP-1 and MMP-3 and between those of MMP-8 and MMP-9 in RA SF. Although the levels of MMP-1 and MMP-3 increased even in the early stage of RA, those of MMP-8 and MMP-9 were low in the early stage and increased with the progression of RA. Molar ratios of the total amounts of the MMPs to those of the TIMPs were 5.2-fold higher in patients with RA than in OA, which was significant. APMA-activated metalloproteinase activity in SF showed a similar result, and a direct correlation was seen between the molar ratios and the activity in RA SF.
CONCLUSIONS—Our results show that high levels of MMP-1, MMP-2, MMP-3, MMP-8, MMP-9, and TIMP-1 are present in RA SF and suggest that once these MMPs are fully activated, they have an imbalance against TIMPs, which may contribute to the cartilage destruction in RA.

PMCID: PMC1753174  PMID: 10834863
3.  Zonal organization of the mammalian main and accessory olfactory systems. 
Zonal organization is one of the characteristic features observed in both main and accessory olfactory systems. In the main olfactory system, most of the odorant receptors are classified into four groups according to their zonal expression patterns in the olfactory epithelium. Each group of odorant receptors is expressed by sensory neurons distributed within one of four circumscribed zones. Olfactory sensory neurons in a given zone of the epithelium project their axons to the glomeruli in a corresponding zone of the main olfactory bulb. Glomeruli in the same zone tend to represent similar odorant receptors having similar tuning specificity to odorants. Vomeronasal receptors (or pheromone receptors) are classified into two groups in the accessory olfactory system. Each group of receptors is expressed by vomeronasal sensory neurons in either the apical or basal zone of the vomeronasal epithelium. Sensory neurons in the apical zone project their axons to the rostral zone of the accessory olfactory bulb and form synaptic connections with mitral tufted cells belonging to the rostral zone. Signals originated from basal zone sensory neurons are sent to mitral tufted cells in the caudal zone of the accessory olfactory bulb. We discuss functional implications of the zonal organization in both main and accessory olfactory systems.
PMCID: PMC1692907  PMID: 11205342
4.  Synovial fluid concentrations of the C-propeptide of type II collagen correlate with body mass index in primary knee osteoarthritis 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  1997;56(8):500-503.
OBJECTIVE—To explore in a cross sectional study in patients with primary knee osteoarthritis (OA) the relations between body mass index (BMI), disease stage, and the concentrations of a putative joint fluid marker of type II collagen synthesis, procollagen II C-propeptide.
PATIENTS AND METHODS—The study included 142 patients with knee OA (median age 68, median BMI 24.1). OA was staged radiologically. The concentrations in synovial fluid of procollagen II C-propeptide were measured by a sandwich enzyme immunoassay.
RESULTS—Joint fluid concentrations of procollagen II C-propeptide were increased in knees with OA (median 3.7 ng/ml), compared with published reference values for knees in healthy adult volunteers (median 1.3 ng/ml). The concentrations of procollagen II C-propeptide were independently related to both OA stage and BMI (rs = 0.343, p < 0.0001 and rs = 0.253, p = 0.002, respectively).
CONCLUSIONS—Joint fluid concentrations of this putative marker of collagen II synthesis are high in early and mid-stage OA, but decrease in end stage disease. In addition and for the first time it was shown that the concentrations in synovial fluid of procollagen II C-propeptide increase with increasing BMI in primary knee OA. The increased joint fluid values of this marker in patients with primary knee OA and a high BMI, may reflect increased rates of collagen synthesis in their joint cartilage and could relate to the previously shown increased risk for disease progression in such patients.

PMCID: PMC1752424  PMID: 9306875

Results 1-4 (4)