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Versican knockdown reduces interzone area during early stages of chick synovial joint development.

ABSTRACT: Much has been learned regarding factors that specify joint placement, but less is known regarding how these molecular instructions are translated into functional joint tissues. Previous studies have shown that the matrix chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan, versican, exhibits a similar pattern of expression in the embryonic joint rudiment of chick and mouse suggesting conserved function during joint development. In this study, versican's importance in developing joints was investigated by specific inhibition of its expression in the early joint interzone, tissue that gives rise to articular cartilages and joint cavity. In ovo microinjection of adenoviral shRNA constructs into the HH25 chick wing was employed to silence endogenous versican protein in developing appendicular joints. Results showed statistically significant (12-14%) reduction of nonchondrogenic elbow joint interzone area in whole-mount specimens at HH36 in response to versican knockdown. Attenuated expression of key versican-associated molecules including hyaluronan, tenascin, CD44, and link protein was also noted by histochemical and immunohistochemical analysis. Versican knockdown also lowered collagen II expression in presumptive articular chondrocytes indicating possible delay in chondrogenesis. Results suggest that versican functions interactively with other matrix/cell surface molecules to facilitate establishment or maintenance of early joint interzone structure.

SUBMITTER: Nagchowdhuri PS 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC3339409 | BioStudies | 2012-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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