N-terminal propeptide of type II collagen (PIINP) is a biomarker reflecting cartilage formation. PIINP exists in two main splice variants termed as type IIA and type IIB collagen NH₂-propeptide (PIIANP, PIIBNP). PIIANP has been widely recognized as a cartilage formation biomarker. However, the utility of PIIBNP as a marker in preclinical and clinical settings has not been fully investigated yet. In this study, we aimed to characterize an antibody targeting human PIIBNP and to develop an immunoassay assessing type II collagen synthesis in human blood samples. A high sensitivity electrochemiluminescence immunoassay, hsPRO-C2, was developed using a well-characterized antibody against human PIIBNP. Human cartilage explants from replaced osteoarthritis knees were cultured for ten weeks in the presence of growth factors, insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) or recombinant human fibroblast growth factor 18 (rhFGF-18). The culture medium was changed every seven days, and levels of PIIBNP, PIIANP, and matrix metalloproteinase 9-mediated degradation of type II collagen (C2M) were analyzed herein. Serum samples from a cross-sectional knee osteoarthritis cohort, as well as pediatric and rheumatoid arthritis samples, were assayed for PIIBNP and PIIANP. Western blot showed that the antibody recognized PIIBNP either as a free fragment or attached to the main molecule. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated that PIIBNP was predominately located in the extracellular matrix of the superficial and deep zones and chondrocytes in both normal and osteoarthritic articular cartilage. In addition, the hsPRO-C2 immunoassay exhibits acceptable technical performances. In the human cartilage explants model, levels of PIIBNP, but not PIIANP and C2M, were increased (2 to 7-fold) time-dependently in response to IGF-1. Moreover, there was no significant correlation between PIIBNP and PIIANP levels when measured in knee osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and pediatric serum samples. Serum PIIBNP was significantly higher in controls (KL0/1) compared to OA groups (KL2/3/4,

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