The distribution of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) in different functional regions (weight-bearing and nonweight-bearing portions) of the human hip joint cartilage was studied. The results obtained were as follows: (1) Weight-bearing cartilage contains larger amounts of GAGs than nonweight-bearing, cartilage. (2) Weight-bearing cartilage contains keratan sulphate in higher ratio to chondroitin sulphate than nonweight-bearing cartilage. (3) The differences in content and composition of GAGs between the weight-bearing and nonweight-bearing portions are more pronounced in the femoral head than in the acetabulum. The preliminary analyses showed that the chondroitin sulphate from the acetabular cartilage contained exclusively 6-sulphated disaccharide units and there was some heterogeneity in keratan sulphate.
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