Meniscus maturation in the swine model: Changes occurring along with anterior to posterior and medial to lateral aspect during growth

Alessia Di Giancamillo, Daniela Deponti, Alessandro Addis, Cinzia Domeneghini, Giuseppe M. Peretti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The meniscus plays important roles in knee function and mechanics and is characterized by a heterogeneous matrix composition. The changes in meniscus vascularization observed during growth suggest that the tissue-specific composition may be the result of a maturation process. This study has the aim to characterize the structural and biochemical variations that occur in the swine meniscus with age. To this purpose, menisci were collected from young and adult pigs and divided into different zones. In study 1, both lateral and medial menisci were divided into the anterior horn, the body and the posterior horn for the evaluation of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), collagen 1 and 2 content. In study 2, the menisci were sectioned into the inner, the intermediate and the outer zones to determine the variations in the cell phenotype along with the inner-outer direction, through gene expression analysis. According to the results, the swine meniscus is characterized by an increasing enrichment in the cartilaginous component with age, with an increasing deposition in the anterior horn (GAGs and collagen 2; P <0.01 both); moreover, this cartilaginous matrix strongly increases in the inner avascular and intermediate zone, as a consequence of a specific differentiation of meniscal cells towards a cartilaginous phenotype (collagen 2, P <0.01). The obtained data add new information on the changes that accompany meniscus maturation, suggesting a specific response of meniscal cells to the regional mechanical stimuli in the knee joint.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1964-1974
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine
Volume18
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2014

Keywords

  • Collagen fibres
  • Fibrochondrocytes
  • Glycosaminoglycans
  • Meniscus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Medicine

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