- Methods in studying ECM degradation
- Volume | Issue number
- 45 | 1
- Number of pages
- Document type
- Faculty of Dentistry (ACTA)
Almost all tissues in our body contain specific cells associated with the tissue itself, and an extracellular matrix (ECM) that consists of a variety of proteins of which the bulk is formed by different types of collagens, glycoproteins and proteoglycans. TheECMplays a pivotal role in numerous processes not only related to the mechanical properties of a tissue, but also in modulating cellular activity. For a proper functioning of a tissue remodeling of the ECM is essential. Some connective tissues are characterized by a very rapid turnover (e.g. periodontal ligament) whereas others hardly show signs of turnover (e.g. cartilage). In all situations degradation of the ECM constituents occur. Under certain conditions, especially during a pathological situation, a high level of degradation may take place. In other situations matrix synthesis and deposition outstrips breakdown, leading to a fibrosis. In order to obtain information on the level of degradation of the different ECM
components, various methods have been employed. A number of these methods will be discussed in this article.
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