The purpose of this project was to test whether growth hormone directly or indirectly affected the rate at which cartilage renewed itself. Growth hormone could exert a direct effect on cartilage or chondrocytes by modifying the expression of different genes, such as c-myc proto-oncogene, which in return increases the proliferation rate of the cells. In contrast, an indirect effect comes from growth hormone stimulating insulin-like growth factor. The results from this research supported the hypothesis that growth hormone not only increases proliferation rate but does so using the direct pathway. Out of the different levels of growth hormone that were tested, it was found that 0.300 μg/ml had the greatest effect since those samples had the highest collagen concentrations and reached confluency in T75 cell culture flasks in the least amount of time. This research can be used in the medical sciences for people who suffer from joint damage and other cartilage-related diseases, since the results demonstrated conditions that lead to increased proliferation of chondrocytes. These combined results could be applied in a clinical setting with the goal of allowing patient cartilage to renew
itself at a faster pace, therefore keeping those patients out of pain from these chondrocyte-related diseases.