Skip to main content
eScholarship
Open Access Publications from the University of California

UC San Diego

UC San Diego Previously Published Works bannerUC San Diego

Hyaluronan concentration and size distribution in human knee synovial fluid: variations with age and cartilage degeneration.

  • Author(s): Temple-Wong, Michele M
  • Ren, Shuwen
  • Quach, Phu
  • Hansen, Bradley C
  • Chen, Albert C
  • Hasegawa, Akihiko
  • D'Lima, Darryl D
  • Koziol, Jim
  • Masuda, Koichi
  • Lotz, Martin K
  • Sah, Robert L
  • et al.
Abstract

Background

One potential mechanism for early superficial cartilage wear in normal joints is alteration of the lubricant content and quality of synovial fluid. The purpose of this study was to determine if the concentration and quality of the lubricant, hyaluronan, in synovial fluid: (1) was similar in left and right knees; (2) exhibited similar age-associated trends, whether collected postmortem or antemortem; and (3) varied with age and grade of joint degeneration.

Methods

Human synovial fluid of donors (23-91 years) without osteoarthritis was analyzed for the concentrations of protein, hyaluronan, and hyaluronan in the molecular weight ranges of 2.5-7 MDa, 1-2.5 MDa, 0.5-1 MDa, and 0.03-0.5 MDa. Similarity of data between left and right knees was assessed by reduced major axis regression, paired t-test, and Bland-Altman analysis. The effect of antemortem versus postmortem collection on biochemical properties was assessed for age-matched samples by unpaired t-test. The relationships between age, joint grade, and each biochemical component were assessed by regression analysis.

Results

Joint grade and the concentrations of protein, hyaluronan, and hyaluronan in the molecular weight ranges of 2.5-7 MDa, 1-2.5 MDa, and 0.5-1 MDa in human synovial fluid showed good agreement between left and right knees and were similar between age-matched patient and cadaver knee joints. There was an age-associated decrease in overall joint grade (-15 %/decade) and concentrations of hyaluronan (-10.5 %/decade), and hyaluronan in the molecular weight ranges of 2.5-7 MDa (-9.4 %/decade), 1-2.5 MDa (-11.3 %/decade), 0.5-1 MDa (-12.5 %/decade), and 0.03-0.5 MDa (-13.0 %/decade). Hyaluronan concentration and quality was more strongly associated with age than with joint grade.

Conclusions

The age-related increase in cartilage wear in non-osteoarthritic joints may be related to the altered hyaluronan content and quality of synovial fluid.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
Current View