Serum Cartilage Oligomeric Matrix Protein Levels in Collegiate Soccer Athletes over the Duration of an Athletic Season: A Pilot Study

Jessica L. Mateer, Johanna M. Hoch, Carl G. Mattacola, Timothy A. Butterfield, Christian Lattermann

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Objective. The primary objective of this study was to measure serum cartilage oligomeric matrix protein (sCOMP) levels weekly in a group of collegiate soccer athletes over the duration of a spring soccer season and 2 weeks following the conclusion of the season while documenting minutes of exercise participation as a measure of exercise intensity. Design. A repeated-measures study design was employed. A volunteer sample of 6 female soccer athletes participated in this study. Serum samples were collected on 10 separate occasions, 1 week prior to the start of the season (baseline), once a week during the 8-week season (PX1-PX8), and once a week for 2 weeks following the conclusion of the season (postseason; PS1 and PS2). Minutes of participation were documented following all spring soccer activities for each week. Once all samples were collected, sCOMP concentrations were determined using a commercially available enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Results. The results of Friedman test revealed a significant effect for time (P = 0.003). Post hoc analysis revealed no significant differences between baseline and practice or postseason levels. A qualitative analysis of the sCOMP levels and minutes indicated higher sCOMP levels occurred when the athletes’ participation in soccer-related activities was higher. Conclusions. Qualitatively, our findings suggest that as minutes of participation increased, sCOMP levels increased. However, no statistically significant differences were identified. We speculate these increases were an increase in cartilage turnover and an interesting observation related to increases in physical activity. However, the implications are unclear as there was a return to near baseline levels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6-11
Number of pages6
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 19 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This work was supported by a grant from the University of Kentucky COM Physician Scientist Clinical Scholar Award, the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM) Career Development Award and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) (1K23AR060275-01A1). In addition, this project was supported by the National Center for Research Resources (UL1RR033173), and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (UL1TR000117). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH. Finally, we acknowledge the University of Kentucky Clinical and Translational Sciences, the CR-DOC, and Ken Westberry for completing the ELISAs.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2014.


  • Articular cartilage
  • Biomarkers
  • Collegiate athletes
  • Diagnosis
  • Diagnostics
  • Sports injury
  • Tissue

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (all)


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