eISSN: 1644-4124
ISSN: 1426-3912
Central European Journal of Immunology
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vol. 43
Experimental immunology

In search of chondrocyte-specific antigen

Anna Osiecka-Iwan
Piotr Skopiński
Dorota M. Radomska-Leśniewska
Anna Hyc

(Centr Eur Immunol 2018; 43 (2): 132-138)
Online publish date: 2018/06/30
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The purpose of this work was to establish, whether rat chondrocyte associated antigen, transmembrane Tmp21 protein belonging to the p24 protein family may immunize rats and thus be included into the panel of immunogens potentially involved in cartilage pathology. For immunization of rats extract from cultured chondrocytes containing surface chondrocyte proteins suspended in incomplete Freund’s adjuvant was used. Control animals were injected with incomplete Freund’s adjuvant without chondrocyte extract. Morphological observations indicated that both in control and experimental animals occurred subperiosteal resorption of bone, suggesting that it arised as the response to adjuvant. In trachea, however, resorption of cartilage and inflammatory changes in the respiratory epithelium and lamina propria were present only in animals exposed to antigen. Unexpectedly, sera from immunized rats strongly reacted with other antigen, which we were able to identify by Western blot and protein sequencing as cartilage oligomeric matrix protein (COMP). COMP is attached to chondrocyte membrane by integrins and its presence in chondrocyte extract is not surprising. Antibody response to COMP raises a question whether the observed changes in tracheal cartilage and epithelium represent anti-COMP reaction or were caused by some other, no specified factors. COMP is used as the marker of osteoarthritis progression, but its role in polychondritis, cartilage pathology involving i.a. tracheal cartilage resorption remains unknown. Thus, our observations may serve as the starting point for future studies in this direction.

chondrocyte antigen, cartilage oligomeric matrix protein (COMP), transmembrane p24 trafficking protein 10 (TMP21)

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