Abnormalities of synovial fluid, as a lubricant and nutrient, may have relevance to the causation of certain articular diseases. The somatomedin activity in normal synovial fluid obtained from the knee joint of the ox has been studied and compared with the activity in serum from the same animal. The porcine costal cartilage bioassay of Van den Brande and Du Caju (1974) has been used with the isotopes 35S-sulphate and 3H-thymidine. The mean potency ratio of ox synovial fluid in terms of ox serum for 35S-sulphate incorporation was 0-28 (range 0-19-0-47) and for 3H-thymidine incorporation 0-35 (range 0-21-0-63). A significant correlation was found between the somatomedin activity (as measured by 35S-sulphate incorporation) and the total protein and albumin concentrations in the ox synovial fluids and the ox sera, but there was no significant relationship between the somatomedin potency ratios and the globulin concentrations. The possible relevance of these findings to injury and disease in synovial joint is discussed.
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