Development of an RNA Probe for Extracellular Matrix Protein Tenascin-C to Ascertain its Involvement in Osteoarthritis
De Horn, Stephen J.
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Tenascin-c is an extracellular matrix protein thought to be responsible for various anti-adhesion properties of articular chondrocytes, among other things. Articular chondrocytes are responsible for the creation of articular cartilage in the developing embryo. Later in life, the articular chondrocytes stop producing cartilage and actually begin replacing pre-existing cartilage with bone. It is speculated that tenascins reappear with the onset of osteoarthritis and in some way may mediate the disease. Thus, a vector that would include a stretch of tenascin-c, a member of the tenascin family of extracellular matrix proteins, nucleic acids could be radio labeled and used to detect the presence of tenascin-c in tissues of interest. This summer project did not yield any significant results and there was no in situ hybridization that would have allowed for detection of tenascin-c in diseased tissues. Further research is expected to show an increase in tenascin-c with an increase in the symptoms of osteoarthritis. Future work at the Bone and Joint Center at Henry Ford Hospital will attempt to create an RNA probe that will then be used to assess the presence of tenascin-c in a variety of tissues in various stages of diseases.