School of Medical Sciences


Cilia Mechanosensation

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B1 integrins (green) are present on the chick chondrocyte cilium (red).

It is well established that mechanical loading is essential for maintaining healthy articular cartilage - the tissue affected in osteoarthritis.

The cells present in cartilage sense and respond to mechanical changes in our joints and regulate the production of extracellular matrix, the structural molecules that give cartilage its resiliency.

However, exactly how the cells sense these changes remains unclear. We believe that the primary cilium acts as a cellular antenna, sensing changes within cartilage tissue and sending important signals back to the cell.

This project investigates whether primary cilia act as biosensors and are involved in the signalling processes that regulate the production of extracellular matrix.

People involved:

Dr Sue McGlashan (PI)
Assoc Prof Cynthia Jensen
Mrs Sarah Kennedy
Assoc Prof Tony Poole (University of Otago)
Purva Joshi (The University of Auckland)
Dr Martin Knight (Queen Mary, University of London)
Dr Tina Chowdhury (Queen Mary, University of London)
Dr Courtney J Haycraft (University of South Carolina)

Funded by:

Arthritis New Zealand
Auckland Medical Research Foundation
Marsden Fund
Royal Society of New Zealand

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Sarah Kennedy, Cynthia Jensen, Tony Poole and Sue McGlashan.

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