Compression loading in vitro regulates proteoglycan synthesis by tendon fibrocartilage

Arch Biochem Biophys. 1992 Oct;298(1):303-12. doi: 10.1016/0003-9861(92)90127-i.


The regulation of proteoglycan synthesis in a fibrocartilaginous tissue by mechanical loading was assessed in vitro. Discs of bovine tendon fibrocartilage were loaded daily with unconfined, cyclic, uniaxial compression (5 s/min, 20 min/day) and the synthesis of large and small proteoglycans was measured by incorporation of [35S]sulfate. All discs synthesized predominantly large proteoglycan when first placed in culture. After 2 weeks in culture nonloaded discs synthesized predominantly small proteoglycans whereas loaded discs continued to produce predominantly large proteoglycan. The turnover of 35S-labeled proteoglycan was not significantly altered by the compression regime. Increased synthesis of large proteoglycans was induced by a 4-day compression regime following 21 days of culture without compression. Inclusion of cytochalasin B during compression mimicked this induction. Autoradiography demonstrated that cell proliferation was minimal and confined to the disc edges whereas 35S-labeled proteoglycan synthesis occurred throughout the discs. These experiments demonstrate that mechanical compression can regulate synthesis of distinct proteoglycan types in fibrocartilage.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cartilage / metabolism*
  • Cattle
  • Culture Techniques
  • Proteoglycans / biosynthesis*
  • Stress, Mechanical
  • Tendons / metabolism*
  • Time Factors


  • Proteoglycans