Some aspects of the physiology of chondrocytes from horse articular cartilage were studied, since this animal model can be helpful in understanding arthritic processes. The replicative ability of articular chondrocytes, measured by the incorporation of [3H]thymidine, and their capacity of proteoglycan production, evaluated from the incorporation of [35S]sulfate, are very low. In addition, these cells do not differentiate in vitro as shown by the constant specific activity of alkaline phosphatase measured at different times in culture. Two types of potassium channels were identified by patch clamp experiments in the cell-attached configuration, one characterized by a conductance of 40 pS and the other of 100 pS. No active K+ channels were found at V(pip) = 0. It was shown by Fura-2 experiments that the low replicative ability is paralleled by a modest variation of the intracellular calcium concentration after a mitogenic stimulus. 31P NMR experiments, both on slices of whole articular cartilage and on isolated cells, demonstrate that chondrocytes derive their energy mainly from the glycolytic pathway.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology