An explant system was used to investigate the hypothesis that cartilage from different equine joints might respond differently to challenge with interleukin-1 α (L-1 α). Pairs of normal cartilage samples were taken from the metacarpophalangeal, proximal interphalangeal and distal interphalangeal joints of six horses. One of each pair was stimulated with 10 ng/ml human recombinant IL-1 α for three days, and the supernatants and remaining cartilage explants were analysed for their total content of glycosaminoglycans. A significantly higher percentage of glycosaminoglycans was released from the cartilage of the proximal and distal interphalangeal joints than from the metacarpophalangeal joint.
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