Growth factor stimulation of adult articular cartilage

Keith D. Osborn, Stephen B. Trippel, Henry J. Mankin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

138 Scopus citations


We have examined the effect of peptide growth factors on DNA and proteoglycan synthesis by adult bovine articular cartilage in organ culture. The actions of somatomedin‐C/insulin‐like growth factor I (Sm‐C/IGF‐I), insulin, epidermal growth factor (EGF), and fibroblast growth factor (FGF) from bovine pituitary were investigated individually and in combination. FGF stimulated a 10‐fold increase in tritiated thymidine incorporation while other factors used individually did not influence mitotic activity. Used in concert, insulin with EGF and insulin with FGF acted synergistically in stimulating DNA synthesis 20‐fold and 40‐fold, respectively. All of these growth factors, acting individually, significantly enhanced radiosulfate incorporation. This stimulation was additive for Sm‐C/IGF‐I in combination with EGF or FGF, but not with insulin. These data indicate that adult bovine articular chondrocytes possess the capacity to augment both mitotic and differentiated cell functions in response to growth factors. The data further suggest that, with the exception of insulin and Sm‐C/IGF‐I, which appear to share a common mechanism of action, these factors produce their cellular effects via different receptor or postreceptor pathways.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-42
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1989


  • Articular cartilage
  • Culture
  • Growth factors
  • Insulin
  • Somatomedin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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