The mechanism of transport of alanine and aminoisobutyric acid into chondrocytes in rabbit articular cartilage was shown to be mediated by transport systems similar to that described for other eukaryotic cells namely the A, ASC, and L systems. Three days after the initiation of an acute inflammatory arthritis by the intra-articular injection of carrageenin into one knee joint the rate of transport of both these amino acids was decreased. Although all three transport systems were depressed, it appeared that the A and ASC systems were partially susceptible to damage by the induced inflammation. The rate of amino acid transport by the affected cartilage had recovered by 28 days after carrageenin treatment. This depression in amino acid transport is discussed in relation to a decrease in general metabolic processes in chondrocytes as a consequence of inflammation.
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