1. The effect of different batches of fetal bovine serum and of growth factors on [35S]sulphate incorporation into glycosaminoglycans and on UDP-sugar pools in explant cultures of bovine articular cartilage was investigated. 2. [35S]Sulphate incorporation was variably stimulated between 1.2- and 3.5-fold by four different batches of serum. The UDP-glucuronate pool size expanded 4.3-6.5-fold in the presence of serum, even in those cultures in which little stimulation of [35S]sulphate incorporation occurred. The UDP-N-acetylhexosamine and UDP-hexose pools expanded by about 1.5- and 2.0-fold respectively in the presence of serum. UDP-xylose was not detected. 3. Equilibrium-labelling and pulse-chase experiments with D-[1-3H]glucose indicated that the rate of flux through the UDP-sugar pools was unaffected by serum. UDP-hexose, UDP-N-acetylhexosamine and UDP-glucuronate have approximate half-lives (t1/2) of 7, 12 and 3-4 min respectively. At equilibrium, the 3H specific activities of UDP-hexose and UDP-N-acetylhexosamine were very similar but that for the UDP-glucuronate pool was much higher, especially in serum-supplemented cultures. The results suggest that UDP-glucuronate synthesis occurs via a pathway which is independent of the main UDP-hexose pathway. 4. Supplementing cultures with heat-treated serum had no effect on the serum-induced expansion of UDP-sugar pools but stimulation of [35S]sulphate incorporation into glycosaminoglycans was 50% lower than for native serum. Acid-treated serum promoted a 2-fold expansion of the UDP-glucuronate and UDP-N-acetylhexosamine pool over that obtained with native serum but was 20% less effective in stimulating [35S]sulphate incorporation than the latter. Prior dialysis of serum had no effect on its modulatory action on either [35S]sulphate incorporation or on the size of UDP-sugar pools. 5. Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), transforming growth factor beta-1 (TGF beta-1), platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) (BB homodimer) and epidermal growth factor (EGF) all stimulated [35S]sulphate incorporation into glycosaminoglycans as expected. The UDP-glucuronate pool expanded by 1.5- and 2.0-fold in the presence of IGF-1 and TGF beta-1 respectively, and by about 1.8-fold in the presence of PDGF or EGF. None of the factors investigated, or combinations of IGF-1 and TGF beta-1 or IGF-1 and EGF, stimulated expansion of the UDP-glucuronate pool to the same extent as native serum.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

This content is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.