Int J Biochem Cell Biol 2002 Feb;34(2):176-82
Division of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Collagen Research Group, University of Bristol, Churchill Building, Bristol BS40 5DS, UK.
The metabolism and total amount of the collagen of subchondral bone are increased several fold in osteoathritic femurs compared with controls. We now report for the first time that the quality of the collagen is modified by the formation of type I homotrimer. The homotrimer fibre has been reported to possess a reduced mechanical strength and mineralisation in bone. The presence of the latter therefore accounts for narrower disorganised collagen fibres and decreased mineralisation, and a reduction in mechanical stability of the osteoarthritic femoral head. These changes in the subchondral bone are likely to be of considerable importance in the pathogenesis of osteoarthritis.