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Table 1 The growth factors and matrix proteins evaluated in this study. The essential role in cartilage function and possible dysfunction when improperly expressed are explored

From: Cryopreserved, Thin, Laser-Etched Osteochondral Allograft maintains the functional components of articular cartilage after 2 years of storage

Growth factor/matrix proteins Effects in cartilage Improper expression leads to
b-FGF (Basic Fibroblast Growth Factor) Provides the response to tissue injury, by increasing chondrocyte proliferation, collagen II deposition, while preventing tissue hypertrophy [27, 28]. Lack of response to injury, hypertrophy of cartilage and non-proliferating cells [28, 29]
PRG4 (Superficial Zone Protein) Is the source of joint lubrication, which protects against Osteoarthritis (OA) and inflammation. Also slows growth factor expression [30,31,32,33]. Joints lose lubrication leading to chondrocyte death and irreversible OA [34, 35]
TGF-β1 (Transforming Growth Factor Beta 1) Maintains PRG4 levels allowing it to protect against OA and promotes cellular chondrogenesis [36, 37]. The onset of OA and eventual osteochondral degeneration [38, 39]
BMP-7 (Bone Morphogenic Protein 7) Promotes stem cell chondrogenesis and their production of PRG4 and hyaline cartilage [40,41,42]. Cartilage tissue degradation [43]
sGAG (sulfated glycosaminoglycans) Central role in maintaining cartilage homeostasis while providing structure and biomechanical properties [44]. The onset of OA and cartilage [45]