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Differential distribution of cathepsins B and L in articular cartilage during skeletal development in the horse

Differential distribution of cathepsins B and L in articular cartilage during skeletal development in the horse

Equine Veterinary Journal 35(1): 42-47

ISSN/ISBN: 0425-1644

PMID: 12553461

DOI: 10.2746/042516403775467504

This study was designed to examine a new role for cysteine proteinases in the process of endochondral ossification. The aim of the present study was to investigate the presence and distribution of cathepsin B and cathepsin L in equine articular cartilage during development. Full-depth cartilage samples from a total of 40 horses (age range: 4 month fetuses to 2 years) were examined and enzymes detected by immunocytochemical localisation. Observations on the presence of cathepsins B and L revealed significant age-related differences, resulting in clear division of the animals into 2 age groups: i) fetuses and neonates; ii) young growing horses (age 4 weeks to 2 years). Cathepsin B was not detected in cartilage from the majority of fetuses and neonates but was located characteristically in chondrocytes at the articular surface and hypertrophic zone in all growing horses. In contrast, cathepsin L was predominantly present in fetal and neonatal cartilage, located primarily in proliferating chondrocytes. This study is the first to demonstrate differential and site-specific roles for cathepsin B and cathepsin L in skeletal development in the horse. The demonstrated involvement of cathepsins B and L in endochondral ossification is of relevance to developmental orthopaedic diseases such as osteochondrosis in which there is a focal failure of bone formation.

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Accession: 003713356

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