Conclusion : HIF-1α is expressed in human normal and OA articular chondrocytes cultured under normoxic conditions. HIF-1α can be further induced or stabilized in articular chondrocytes by hypoxia or by treatment with TNFα. The relatively high constitutive expression of HIF-1α by chondrocytes may be an important adaptation to survival in the avascular-hypoxic environment of cartilage. Modulation of HIF-1α levels by TNF-α may have important implications for chondrocyte metabolism during degenerative joint disease. In addition, we detected for the first time the expression of HIF-2α mRNA in chondrocytes.
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