IL-1β and TNF-α alter the glycophenotype of primary human chondrocytes in vitro

Martin Pabst, Shengqian Q. Wu, Josephine Grass, Alexander Kolb, Catharina Chiari, Helmut Viernstein, Frank M. Unger, Friedrich Altmann, Stefan Toegel*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


Despite the significance of glycoproteins for extracellular matrix assembly in cartilage tissue, little is known about the regulation of the chondrocyte glycophenotype under inflammatory conditions. The present study aimed to assess the effect of IL-1β and TNF-α on specific features of the glycophenotype of primary human chondrocytes in vitro. Using LC-MS, we found that both cytokines increased overall sialylation of N- and O-glycans and induced a shift towards α-(2→3)-linked sialic acid residues in chondrocyte glycoproteins. These results were supported by quantitative PCR showing increased expression of α-(2→3) sialyltransferases in treated cells. Moreover, we found that both IL-1β and TNF-α induced a considerable shift from oligomannosidic glycans towards complex-type N-glycans. In contrast, core α- (1→6)-fucosylation of chondrocyte N-glycans was found to be reduced particularly by TNF-α. In summary, inflammatory conditions induce specific alterations of the chondrocyte glycophenotype which might affect cell-matrix interactions or the function of endogenous lectins.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1389-1393
Number of pages5
JournalCarbohydrate Research
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jul 2010


  • Chondrocytes Cytokines Glycosylation Glycosyltransferases RT-qPCR LC-ESI-MS


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