A fragment of type X collagen released by cathepsin K
We developed a novel assay, C10C, for measurement of chondrocyte hypertrophy and found its levels significantly elevated in OA patients with KL score of 2, and also in OA patients with above normal hsCRP levels. Concentration of C10C strongly correlated with levels of C2M, a marker of cartilage destruction. The data suggest that chondrocyte hypertrophy and subsequent collagen X fragmentation seem to be increased in a subset of patients with inflammatory OA.
A competitive ELISA, C-Col10, applying a well-characterized monoclonal antibody was developed as a biomarker of chondrocyte hypertrophy through measurement of type X collagen (ColX). The levels of C10C, C2M (matrix metalloproteinase-derived fragments of type II collagen) and hsCRP (high sensitive C-reactive protein) were quantified by ELISAs in serum of 271 OA patients stratified by Kellgren-Lawrence (KL) score 0-4. Associations between serum levels of the three biomarkers (log transformed) were analyzed by Pearson's correlation and differences in C10C levels between patients with high and low levels of inflammation measured by hsCRP were analyzed by ANOVA.
We found significantly higher levels of ColX in patients with KL score 2 compared to patients with no radiographic evidence of OA (KL0) (p = 0.04). Levels of ColX were significantly elevated in OA patients with above normal hsCRP levels (p < 0.0001), as well as significantly correlated with levels of C2M (r = 0.55, p < 0.0001), which suggested that chondrocyte hypertrophy was associated with inflammation and cartilage degradation. There was no correlation between C2M and hsCRP. Age and BMI adjustment didn't change the results. Immuno-staining revealed that ColX was predominately located around the hypertrophic chondrocytes and the clustered chondrocytes indicating that C10C measures may be linked to cartilage hypertrophic changes.
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