Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Austin Journal of Musculoskeletal Disorders










Costal cartilage is a type of hyaline cartilage that forms rod-like structures that connect the ribs to the sternum. The most common chest wall deformities, pectus excavatum and pectus carinatum involved efective costal cartilage resulting in sternal displacement. Costal cartilage is not widely studied leaving little insight into possible factors involved in the pathogenesis of these pectus deformities. This study focused on the presence and distribution of two important regulators of collagen fibrillogenesis and organization, biglycan and decorin. Immunohistochemical analysis of transverse cross sections of normal and deformed costal cartilage revealed that biglycan and decorin mainly localized in the territorial matrix except for prodecorin which was only found within chondrocytes. Western blot analysis of whole protein extracts demonstrated the presence of both pro and mature forms of biglycan and mature decorin in patients and controls. In normal costal cartilage of different ages, the mature form of decorin was absent in a fetal sample whereas mature biglycan was weakly expressed, suggestive that mature biglycan may play a role in early costal cartilage development. Further studies are needed to determine the functional differences between the pro- and mature forms of biglycan and decorin both in age and disease.

Original Publication Citation

Asmar, A., Werner, A., Kelly Jr, R.E., Fecteau, A., & Stacey, M.W. (2015). Presence and localization of pro-and mature forms of biglycan and decorin in human costal cartilage derived from chest wall deformities. Austin J Musculoskelet Disord, 2(1), 1012.