Changes in glycosaminoglycan epitope levels in knee joint fluid following injury

Arthritis Rheum. 1995 Jul;38(7):953-9. doi: 10.1002/art.1780380711.


Objective: To measure the levels of epitope on the chondroitin sulfate (CS) and keratan sulfate (KS) chains of proteoglycan fragments in synovial fluids from injured and contralateral uninjured knees of patients with traumatic cruciate ligament and/or meniscus damage.

Methods: Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays were used to determine the levels of monoclonal antibody epitopes 3-B-3 and 7-D-4 (CS), and 5-D-4 (KS), in paired joint fluids from the injured and uninjured knees of trauma patients.

Results: Levels of the CS epitopes were increased in the trauma joint fluids from most patients, with higher levels of 3-B-3 epitope in 12 of the 16 patients, but the difference did not achieve significance; however, 7-D-4 levels were higher in 15 patients, and the difference was highly significant (P = 0.0005). In contrast, the KS epitope detected by 5-D-4 was decreased in 13 of 15 patients, and the difference was significant (P = 0.0074).

Conclusion: The increased level of 7-D-4 epitope on proteoglycans in joint fluid from injured knees may reflect the response of the articular cartilage to acute trauma resulting in altered expression of specific CS epitopes on cartilage proteoglycans. The fall in KS epitope levels may reflect the synthesis of proteoglycans that have lower KS content.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / analysis
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / immunology
  • Cartilage, Articular / chemistry
  • Cartilage, Articular / metabolism
  • Cartilage, Articular / pathology
  • Chondroitin Sulfates / analysis
  • Chondroitin Sulfates / immunology
  • Chondroitin Sulfates / metabolism
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Epitopes / analysis*
  • Epitopes / immunology
  • Epitopes / metabolism
  • Glycosaminoglycans / analysis*
  • Glycosaminoglycans / immunology
  • Glycosaminoglycans / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Keratan Sulfate / analysis
  • Keratan Sulfate / immunology
  • Keratan Sulfate / metabolism
  • Knee Injuries / immunology*
  • Knee Injuries / pathology
  • Knee Joint / chemistry
  • Knee Joint / metabolism
  • Knee Joint / pathology
  • Synovial Fluid / chemistry*
  • Synovial Fluid / metabolism


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Epitopes
  • Glycosaminoglycans
  • Chondroitin Sulfates
  • Keratan Sulfate