Comparison of Meniscal Cell-Mediated and Chondrocyte-Mediated Calcification

Alex J. Kiraly*, Andrea Roberts, Michael Cox, David Mauerhan, Edward Hanley, Yubo Sun
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Carolinas HealthCare System, Charlotte, NC, USA

Article Metrics

CrossRef Citations:
Total Statistics:

Full-Text HTML Views: 1853
Abstract HTML Views: 431
PDF Downloads: 431
ePub Downloads: 218
Total Views/Downloads: 2933
Unique Statistics:

Full-Text HTML Views: 783
Abstract HTML Views: 285
PDF Downloads: 274
ePub Downloads: 171
Total Views/Downloads: 1513

Creative Commons License
© 2017 Kiraly et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at Department of Orthopaedic Research, Carolinas HealthCare System, 1000 Blythe Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28203, USA; Tel: 704-355-5656; E-mail:



Chondrocytes have been traditionally thought to be responsible for calcium crystal deposits within osteoarthritic knees. Increasing recent experimental evidence suggests that menisci may also play a role. However, the calcifying potential of chondrocytes and meniscal cells derived from same OA patients, and the genes associated with meniscal calcification have never been fully examined.


Examine and compare the calcifying potential of articular chondrocytes and meniscal cells derived from same OA patients and identify the calcium crystal type(s) and selected gene expression in OA menisci.


Chondrocytes and meniscal cells were isolated from articular cartilage and menisci of OA patients undergoing total knee arthroplasty. Chondrocyte- and meniscal cell-mediated calcification was examined using both monolayer and micromass culture-based assays. Crustal types were examined with histological staining. Levels of Type X Collagen, MMP-13, and ANKH in OA menisci were examined using immunohistochemistry.


Primary human OA meniscal cells produced calcified deposits at a similar rate compared to OA chondrocytes in-vitro. Histological examinations indicate that both BCP crystals and CPPD crystals are present in the meniscal tissue. Type X collagen, MMP-13, and ANKH were found in human OA menisci and their levels increased with OA severity. In addition, type X collagen was co-localized with calcium crystals.


These findings suggest that OA meniscal cells have a similar calcifying potential as OA chondrocytes, supporting a pathogenic role of OA menisci in OA.

Keywords: Articular cartilage, BCP, CPPD, Calcification crystals, Meniscus, OA.