Expression of chondromodulin-1 in the temporomandibular joint condylar cartilage and disc

Wei Fang, Thor Einar Friis, Xing Long, Yin Xiao
Journal of Oral Pathology & Medicine 2010, 39 (4): 356-60

BACKGROUND: The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) cartilage consists of condylar cartilage and disc and undergoes continuous remodeling throughout post-natal life. To maintain the integrity of the TMJ cartilage, anti-angiogenic factors play an important role during the remodeling process. In this study, we investigated the expression of the anti-angiogenic factor, chondromodulin-1 (ChM-1), in TMJ cartilage and evaluate its potential role in TMJ remodeling.

METHODS: Eight TMJ specimens were collected from six 4-month-old Japanese white rabbits. Safranin-O staining was performed to determine proteoglycan content. ChM-1 expression in TMJ condylar cartilage and disc was determined by immunohistochemistry. Three human perforated disc tissue samples were collected for investigation of ChM-1 and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) distribution in perforated TMJ disc.

RESULTS: Safranin-O stained weakly in TMJ compared with tibial articular and epiphyseal cartilage. In TMJ, ChM-1 was expressed in the proliferative and hypertrophic zone of condylar cartilage and chondrocyte-like cells in the disc. No expression of ChM-1 was observed in osteoblasts and subchondral bone. ChM-1 and VEGF were both similarly expressed in perforated disc tissues.

CONCLUSIONS: ChM-1 may play a role in the regulation of TMJ remodeling by preventing blood vessel invasion of the cartilage, thereby maintaining condylar cartilage and disc integrity.

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