The effects of collagen fragments on the extracellular matrix metabolism of bovine and human chondrocytes

Connect Tissue Res. 2001;42(1):71-86. doi: 10.3109/03008200109014250.


Cartilage matrix degradation generates collagen type II fragments. The objective of this study is to explore the possibility that these collagen fragments may be part of an endogenous metabolic feedback. Initially, collagen fragments were extracted from normal or osteoarthritic cartilage, as part of a matrix fragment preparation. Later, collagen fragments were generated by digestion of bovine collagen type II with bacterial collagenase (col2f). These fragments were added to cultures of isolated chondrocytes (bovine and human) and cartilage explants (human). In a dose-dependent manner, col2f caused inhibition of cell attachment to collagen, inhibition of collagen synthesis, and induction of matrix degradation. In addition, when col2f were added to human cartilage explants, an induction of gelatinase activity was detected in the media. These data sets present first evidence that degradation products of collagen may be directly involved in the regulation of cartilage homeostasis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Animals
  • Cartilage, Articular / cytology
  • Cattle
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Cell Culture Techniques / methods
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chemical Fractionation
  • Chondrocytes / cytology
  • Chondrocytes / metabolism*
  • Collagen Type II / metabolism*
  • Extracellular Matrix / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Protein Binding


  • Collagen Type II