PMCC PMCC

Search tips
Search criteria

Advanced
Results 1-25 (34)
 

Clipboard (0)
None
Journals
Year of Publication
1.  NFAT3 and TGF-β/SMAD3 regulate the expression of miR-140 in osteoarthritis 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2013;15(6):R197.
Introduction
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) down-regulate their target genes. The intronic miR-140, present in the WW domain containing E3 ubiquitin protein ligase 2 (WWP2) gene, decreases the expression of genes that play detrimental roles in osteoarthritis (OA). As the expression level of miR-140 is significantly decreased in human OA chondrocytes, we investigated its regulation in those cells.
Methods
Gene expression in human chondrocytes was determined by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and gene silencing was done in OA chondrocytes by transient transfection with specific small interfering RNAs (siRNAs). Binding sites of the miR-140 regulatory sequence (rsmiR-140) were identified by mutagenesis and chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) in OA chondrocytes. The effects of translocation on OA chondrocytes were determined by immunocytochemistry and qPCR.
Results
In contrast to miR-140, the expression of WWP2 was similar in both normal and OA cells, suggesting that miR-140 has an additional level of regulation. rsmiR-140 showed activity and predicted binding sites for nuclear matrix transcription factor 4 (NMP4), myc-associated zinc (MAZ), nuclear factor of activated T-cells (NFAT), and mothers against decapentaplegic homolog 3 (SMAD3). Silencing NFAT3 (P ≤0.01) and SMAD3 (P ≤0.05) differentially regulated miR-140 independently of WWP2. Silencing NFAT5 decreased both miR-140 and WWP2 (P ≤0.003 and P ≤0.05, respectively). NFAT3 activation increased and transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) decreased rsmiR-140 activity. Mutagenesis of rsmiR-140 and ChIP assays identified binding sites at which NFAT3 (activator) and SMAD3 (repressor) directly regulated miR-140. TGF-β interfered with NFAT3 translocation, and subsequently with miR-140 expression.
Conclusions
This is the first study to provide evidence of a regulatory mechanism of miR-140 independent of WWP2, and new and differential roles for NFAT3 and SMAD3 in the OA process in the regulation of miR-140 transcription. Such knowledge could advance therapeutic strategies targeting OA.
doi:10.1186/ar4387
PMCID: PMC3978709  PMID: 24257415
3.  Egr-1 contributes to IL-1-mediated down-regulation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ expression in human osteoarthritic chondrocytes 
Introduction
Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)γ has been shown to exhibit anti-inflammatory and anti-catabolic properties and to be protective in animal models of osteoarthritis (OA). We have previously shown that interleukin-1β (IL-1) down-regulates PPARγ expression in human OA chondrocytes. However, the mechanisms underlying this effect have not been well characterized. The PPARγ promoter harbors an overlapping Egr-1/specificity protein 1 (Sp1) binding site. In this study, our objective was to define the roles of Egr-1 and Sp1 in IL-1-mediated down-regulation of PPARγ expression.
Methods
Chondrocytes were stimulated with IL-1 and the expression levels of Egr-1 and Sp1 mRNAs and proteins were evaluated using real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and Western blotting, respectively. The role of de novo protein synthesis was evaluated using the protein synthesis inhibitor cycloheximide (CHX). The recruitment of Sp1 and Egr-1 to the PPARγ promoter was evaluated using chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assays. The PPARγ promoter activity was analyzed in transient transfection experiments. The roles of Egr-1 and Sp1 were further evaluated using small interfering RNA (siRNA) approaches. The level of Egr-1 in cartilage was determined using immunohistochemistry.
Results
Down-regulation of PPARγ expression by IL-1 requires de novo protein synthesis and was concomitant with the induction of the transcription factor Egr-1. Treatment with IL-1 induced Egr-1 recruitment and reduced Sp1 occupancy at the PPARγ promoter. Overexpression of Egr-1 potentiated, whereas overexpression of Sp1 alleviated, the suppressive effect of IL-1 on the PPARγ promoter, suggesting that Egr-1 may mediate the suppressive effect of IL-1. Consistently, Egr-1 silencing prevented IL-1-mediated down-regulation of PPARγ expression. We also showed that the level of Egr-1 expression was elevated in OA cartilage compared to normal cartilage.
Conclusions
Our results indicate that induction and recruitment of Egr-1 contributed to the suppressive effect of IL-1 on PPARγ expression. They also suggest that modulation of Egr-1 levels in the joint may have therapeutic potential in OA.
doi:10.1186/ar3788
PMCID: PMC3446440  PMID: 22455954
8.  mPGES-1 null mice are resistant to bleomycin-induced skin fibrosis 
Introduction
Microsomal prostaglandin E2 synthase-1 (mPGES-1) is an inducible enzyme that acts downstream of cyclooxygenase (COX) to specifically catalyze the conversion of prostaglandin (PG) H2 to PGE2. mPGES-1 plays a key role in inflammation, pain and arthritis; however, the role of mPGES-1 in fibrogenesis is largely unknown. Herein, we examine the role of mPGES-1 in a mouse model of skin scleroderma using mice deficient in mPGES-1.
Methods
Wild type (WT) and mPGES-1 null mice were subjected to the bleomycin model of cutaneous skin scleroderma. mPGES-1 expressions in scleroderma fibroblasts and in fibroblasts derived from bleomycin-exposed mice were assessed by Western blot analysis. Degree of fibrosis, dermal thickness, inflammation, collagen content and the number of α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA)-positive cells were determined by histological analyses. The quantity of the collagen-specific amino acid hydroxyproline was also measured.
Results
Compared to normal skin fibroblasts, mPGES-1 protein expression was elevated in systemic sclerosis (SSc) fibroblasts and in bleomycin-exposed mice. Compared to WT mice, mPGES-1-null mice were resistant to bleomycin-induced inflammation, cutaneous thickening, collagen production and myofibroblast formation.
Conclusions
mPGES-1 expression is required for bleomycin-induced skin fibrogenesis. Inhibition of mPGES-1 may be a viable method to alleviate the development of cutaneous sclerosis and is a potential therapeutic target to control the onset of fibrogenesis.
doi:10.1186/ar3226
PMCID: PMC3546456  PMID: 21266028
10.  Tiludronate treatment improves structural changes and symptoms of osteoarthritis in the canine anterior cruciate ligament model 
Introduction
The aim of this prospective, randomized, controlled, double-blind study was to evaluate the effects of tiludronate (TLN), a bisphosphonate, on structural, biochemical and molecular changes and function in an experimental dog model of osteoarthritis (OA).
Methods
Baseline values were established the week preceding surgical transection of the right cranial/anterior cruciate ligament, with eight dogs serving as OA placebo controls and eight others receiving four TLN injections (2 mg/kg subcutaneously) at two-week intervals starting the day of surgery for eight weeks. At baseline, Week 4 and Week 8, the functional outcome was evaluated using kinetic gait analysis, telemetered locomotor actimetry and video-automated behaviour capture. Pain impairment was assessed using a composite numerical rating scale (NRS), a visual analog scale, and electrodermal activity (EDA). At necropsy (Week 8), macroscopic and histomorphological analyses of synovium, cartilage and subchondral bone of the femoral condyles and tibial plateaus were assessed. Immunohistochemistry of cartilage (matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-1, MMP-13, and a disintegrin and metalloproteinase domain with thrombospondin motifs (ADAMTS5)) and subchondral bone (cathepsin K) was performed. Synovial fluid was analyzed for inflammatory (PGE2 and nitrite/nitrate levels) biomarkers. Statistical analyses (mixed and generalized linear models) were performed with an α-threshold of 0.05.
Results
A better functional outcome was observed in TLN dogs than OA placebo controls. Hence, TLN dogs had lower gait disability (P = 0.04 at Week 8) and NRS score (P = 0.03, group effect), and demonstrated behaviours of painless condition with the video-capture (P < 0.04). Dogs treated with TLN demonstrated a trend toward improved actimetry and less pain according to EDA. Macroscopically, both groups had similar level of morphometric lesions, TLN-treated dogs having less joint effusion (P = 0.01), reduced synovial fluid levels of PGE2 (P = 0.02), nitrites/nitrates (P = 0.01), lower synovitis score (P < 0.01) and a greater subchondral bone surface (P < 0.01). Immunohistochemical staining revealed lower levels in TLN-treated dogs of MMP-13 (P = 0.02), ADAMTS5 (P = 0.02) in cartilage and cathepsin K (P = 0.02) in subchondral bone.
Conclusion
Tiludronate treatment demonstrated a positive effect on gait disability and joint symptoms. This is likely related to the positive influence of the treatment at improving some OA structural changes and reducing the synthesis of catabolic and inflammatory mediators.
doi:10.1186/ar3373
PMCID: PMC3218913  PMID: 21693018
11.  Bone marrow lesions predict site-specific cartilage defect development and volume loss: a prospective study in older adults 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2010;12(6):R222.
Introduction
Recent evidence suggests that bone marrow lesions (BMLs) play a pivotal role in knee osteoarthritis (OA). The aims of this study were to determine: 1) whether baseline BML presence and/or severity predict site-specific cartilage defect progression and cartilage volume loss; and 2) whether baseline cartilage defects predict site-specific BML progression.
Methods
A total of 405 subjects (mean age 63 years, range 52 to 79) were measured at baseline and approximately 2.7 years later. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the right knee was performed to measure knee cartilage volume, cartilage defects (0 to 4), and BMLs (0 to 3) at the medial tibial (MT), medial femoral (MF), lateral tibial (LT), and lateral femoral (LF) sites. Logistic regression and generalized estimating equations were used to examine the relationship between BMLs and cartilage defects and cartilage volume loss.
Results
At all four sites, baseline BML presence predicted defect progression (odds ratio (OR) 2.4 to 6.4, all P < 0.05), and cartilage volume loss (-0.9 to -2.9% difference per annum, all P < 0.05) at the same site. In multivariable analysis, there was a significant relationship between BML severity and defect progression at all four sites (OR 1.8 to 3.2, all P < 0.05) and BML severity and cartilage volume loss at the MF, LT, and LF sites (β -22.1 to -42.0, all P < 0.05). Additionally, baseline defect severity predicted BML progression at the MT and LF sites (OR 3.3 to 3.7, all P < 0.01). Lastly, there was a greater increase in cartilage volume loss at the MT and LT sites when both larger defects and BMLs were present at baseline (all P < 0.05).
Conclusions
Baseline BMLs predicted site-specific defect progression and cartilage volume loss in a dose-response manner suggesting BMLs may have a local effect on cartilage homeostasis. Baseline defects predicted site-specific BML progression, which may represent increased bone loading adjacent to defects. These results suggest BMLs and defects are interconnected and play key roles in knee cartilage volume loss; thus, both should be considered targets for intervention.
doi:10.1186/ar3209
PMCID: PMC3046535  PMID: 21190554
12.  Fully automated system for the quantification of human osteoarthritic knee joint effusion volume using magnetic resonance imaging 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2010;12(5):R173.
Introduction
Joint effusion is frequently associated with osteoarthritis (OA) flare-up and is an important marker of therapeutic response. This study aimed at developing and validating a fully automated system based on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for the quantification of joint effusion volume in knee OA patients.
Methods
MRI examinations consisted of two axial sequences: a T2-weighted true fast imaging with steady-state precession and a T1-weighted gradient echo. An automated joint effusion volume quantification system using MRI was developed and validated (a) with calibrated phantoms (cylinder and sphere) and effusion from knee OA patients; (b) with assessment by manual quantification; and (c) by direct aspiration. Twenty-five knee OA patients with joint effusion were included in the study.
Results
The automated joint effusion volume quantification was developed as a four stage sequencing process: bone segmentation, filtering of unrelated structures, segmentation of joint effusion, and subvoxel volume calculation. Validation experiments revealed excellent coefficients of variation with the calibrated cylinder (1.4%) and sphere (0.8%) phantoms. Comparison of the OA knee joint effusion volume assessed by the developed automated system and by manual quantification was also excellent (r = 0.98; P < 0.0001), as was the comparison with direct aspiration (r = 0.88; P = 0.0008).
Conclusions
The newly developed fully automated MRI-based system provided precise quantification of OA knee joint effusion volume with excellent correlation with data from phantoms, a manual system, and joint aspiration. Such an automated system will be instrumental in improving the reproducibility/reliability of the evaluation of this marker in clinical application.
doi:10.1186/ar3133
PMCID: PMC2991000  PMID: 20846392
13.  High mobility group box 1 potentiates the pro-inflammatory effects of interleukin-1β in osteoarthritic synoviocytes 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2010;12(4):R165.
Introduction
High mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) is released by necrotic cells or secreted in response to inflammatory stimuli. Extracellular HMGB1 may act as a pro-inflammatory cytokine in rheumatoid arthritis. We have recently reported that HMGB1 is released by osteoarthritic synoviocytes after activation with interleukin-1beta (IL-1β) The present study investigated the role of HMGB1 in synovial inflammation in osteoarthritis (OA).
Methods
HMGB1 was determined in human synovium using immunohistochemistry, comparing normal to OA. OA synoviocytes were incubated with HMGB1 at 15 or 25 ng/ml in the absence or presence of IL-1β (10 ng/ml). Gene expression was analyzed by quantitative PCR and protein expression by Western Blot and ELISA. Matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) activity was studied by fluorometric procedures and nuclear factor (NF)-κB activation by transient transfection with a NF-κB-luciferase plasmid.
Results
In the normal synovium, HMGB1 was found in the synovial lining cells, sublining cells, and in the vascular wall cells. The distribution of HMGB1 in OA synovium was similar but the number of HMGB1 positive cells was higher and HMGB1 was also present in infiltrated cells. In normal synovial membrane cells, HMGB1 was found mostly in the nuclei, whereas in OA, HMGB1 was generally found mostly in the cytoplasm. In OA synoviocytes, HMGB1 alone at concentrations of 15 or 25 ng/ml did not affect the production of IL-6, IL-8, CCL2, CCL20, MMP-1 or MMP-3, but in the presence of IL-1β, a significant potentiation of protein and mRNA expression, as well as MMP activity was observed. HMGB1 also enhanced the phosphorylated ERK1/2 and p38 levels, with a lower effect on phosphorylated Akt. In contrast, JNK1/2 phosphorylation was not affected. In addition, HMGB1 at 25 ng/ml significantly potentiated NF-κB activation in the presence of IL-1β.
Conclusions
Our results indicate that HMGB1 is overexpressed in OA synovium and mostly present in extracellular form. In OA synoviocytes, HMGB1 cooperates with IL-1β to amplify the inflammatory response leading to the production of a number of cytokines, chemokines and MMPs. Our data support a pro-inflammatory role for this protein contributing to synovitis and articular destruction in OA.
doi:10.1186/ar3124
PMCID: PMC2945068  PMID: 20799933
14.  The association between subchondral bone cysts and tibial cartilage volume and risk of joint replacement in people with knee osteoarthritis: a longitudinal study 
Introduction
To examine the natural history of subchondral bone cysts and to determine whether knee cartilage loss and risk of joint replacement is higher in knees with cysts, compared with those with bone marrow lesions (BMLs) only or those with neither BMLs nor cysts.
Methods
The symptomatic knee in 132 subjects with knee osteoarthritis (OA) was imaged by using magnetic resonance imaging at baseline and 2 years later. Tibial cartilage volume, subchondral bone cysts, and BMLs were measured by using validated methods. Knee arthroplasty over a 4-year period was ascertained.
Results
Bone cysts were present in 47.7% of subjects, 98.1% of whom also had BMLs. Over a 2-year period, 23.9% of subjects had cysts progress, 13.0% developed new cysts, and 11.4% had cysts regress. Bone cysts at baseline were associated with lower medial and lateral tibial cartilage volume compared with those with BMLs only or those with neither (P for trend 0.004 and <0.001, respectively). Annual medial cartilage volume loss was greatest in those with bone cysts compared with those with BMLs only or those with neither (9.3%, 6.3%, and 2.6%, respectively; P for trend, <0.001). As the severity of bone abnormality in the medial compartment increased from no BMLs or cysts present, to BMLs only, to subchondral bone cysts present, the risk of knee replacement was increased (odds ratio, 1.99; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.01 to 3.90; P = 0.05).
Conclusions
When cysts are present, cartilage loss and risk of knee replacement are higher than if only BMLs are present, suggesting that cysts identify those most likely to benefit from prevention of disease progression. As cysts can regress, they may also provide therapeutic targets in knee OA.
doi:10.1186/ar2971
PMCID: PMC2888209  PMID: 20356405
15.  Treatment with ephrin B2 positively impacts the abnormal metabolism of human osteoarthritic chondrocytes 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2009;11(4):R119.
Introduction
Members of the ephrin system, the ephrin receptor erythropoietin-producing hepatocellular B4 (EphB4) and its specific ligand, ephrin B2, appear to be involved in the bone remodelling process. We recently showed that their interaction inhibits the resorptive activity of human osteoarthritic (OA) subchondral bone osteoblasts. Hence, we further investigated the possible implication of these ephrin members on the catabolic/anabolic activities of human OA chondrocytes.
Methods
EphB4 receptor and ephrin B2 levels were determined by quantitative PCR and immunohistochemistry, and the effects of ephrin B2 on the expression/production of factors involved in the OA process.
Results
EphB4 receptors and ephrin B2 ligands are expressed and produced by human normal and OA chondrocytes. Ephrin B2 protein was found at similar levels in both cartilage types, whereas EphB4 receptor expression (P < 0.0001) and production (P < 0.01) levels were significantly increased in OA chondrocytes/cartilage. Ephrin B2 treatment significantly inhibited the interleukin (IL)-1beta, IL-6, matrix metalloproteinase-1 (MMP-1), MMP-9, MMP-13, and proteinase-activated receptor-2 (PAR-2) gene expression levels, whereas MMP-2 was unaffected, and significantly increased collagen type II, a cartilage specific macromolecule. It also inhibited the IL-1beta stimulated protein production of IL-6, MMP-1 and MMP-13.
Conclusions
Our study is the first to provide data on the presence and role of ephrin B2/EphB4 receptors in human chondrocytes/cartilage. Data showed that ephrin B2 treatment positively impacts the abnormal metabolism of OA cartilage by inhibiting important catabolic factors involved in this disease at the same time as increasing anabolic activity.
doi:10.1186/ar2782
PMCID: PMC2745802  PMID: 19664212
16.  Human articular chondrocytes express 15-lipoxygenase-1 and -2: potential role in osteoarthritis 
Introduction
15-Lipoxygenases and their metabolites have been shown to exhibit anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties, but little is known regarding their expression and function in chondrocytes. The objective of this study was to evaluate the expression of 15-lipoxygenase-1 and -2 in human articular chondrocytes, and to investigate the effects of their metabolites 13(S)-hydroxy octadecadienoic and 15(S)-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acids on IL-1β-induced matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-1 and MMP-13 expression.
Methods
The expression levels of 15-lipoxygenase-1 and -2 were analyzed by reverse transcription PCR and Western blotting in chondrocytes, and by immunohistochemistry in cartilage. Chondrocytes or cartilage explants were stimulated with IL-1β in the absence or presence of 13(S)-hydroxy octadecadienoic and 15(S)-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acids, and the levels of MMP-1 and MMP-13 protein production and type II collagen cleavage were evaluated using immunoassays. The role of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)γ was evaluated using transient transfection experiments and the PPARγ antagonist GW9662.
Results
Articular chondrocytes express 15-lipoxygenase-1 and -2 at the mRNA and protein levels. 13(S)-hydroxy octadecadienoic and 15(S)-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acids dose dependently decreased IL-1β-induced MMP-1 and MMP-13 protein and mRNA expression as well as type II collagen cleavage. The effect on MMP-1 and MMP-13 expression does not require de novo protein synthesis. 13(S)-hydroxy octadecadienoic and 15(S)-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acids activated endogenous PPARγ, and GW9662 prevented their suppressive effect on MMP-1 and MMP-13 production, suggesting the involvement of PPARγ in these effects.
Conclusions
This study is the first to demonstrate the expression of 15-lipoxygenase-1 and -2 in articular chondrocytes. Their respective metabolites, namely 13(S)-hydroxy octadecadienoic and 15(S)-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acids, suppressed IL-1β-induced MMP-1 and MMP-13 expression in a PPARγ-dependent pathway. These data suggest that 15-lipoxygenases may have chondroprotective properties by reducing MMP-1 and MMP-13 expression.
doi:10.1186/ar2652
PMCID: PMC2688191  PMID: 19296842
17.  Protective effects of total fraction of avocado/soybean unsaponifiables on the structural changes in experimental dog osteoarthritis: inhibition of nitric oxide synthase and matrix metalloproteinase-13 
Introduction
The aims of this study were, first, to investigate the in vivo effects of treatment with avocado/soybean unsaponifiables on the development of osteoarthritic structural changes in the anterior cruciate ligament dog model and, second, to explore their mode of action.
Methods
Osteoarthritis was induced by anterior cruciate ligament transection of the right knee in crossbred dogs. There were two treatment groups (n = 8 dogs/group), in which the animals received either placebo or avocado/soybean unsaponifiables (10 mg/kg per day), which were given orally for the entire duration of the study (8 weeks). We conducted macroscopic and histomorphological analyses of cartilage and subchondral bone of the femoral condyles and/or tibial plateaus. We also conducted immunohistochemical analyses in cartilage for the following antigens: inducible nitric oxide synthase, matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-1, MMP-13, a disintegrin and metalloproteinase domain with thrombospondin motifs (ADAMTS)4 and ADAMTS5.
Results
The size of macroscopic lesions on the tibial plateaus was decreased (P = 0.04) in dogs treated with the avocado/soybean unsaponifiables. Histologically, in these animals the severity of cartilage lesions on both tibial plateaus and femoral condyles, and the cellular infiltration in synovium were significantly decreased (P = 0.0002 and P = 0.04, respectively). Treatment with avocado/soybean unsaponifiables also reduced loss of subchondral bone volume (P < 0.05) and calcified cartilage thickness (P = 0.01) compared with placebo. Immunohistochemical analysis of cartilage revealed that avocado/soybean unsaponifiables significantly reduced the level of inducible nitric oxide synthase (P < 0.05) and MMP-13 (P = 0.01) in cartilage.
Conclusions
This study demonstrates that treatment with avocado/soybean unsaponifiables can reduce the development of early osteoarthritic cartilage and subchondral bone lesions in the anterior cruciate ligament dog model of osteoarthritis. This effect appears to be mediated through the inhibition of inducible nitric oxide synthase and MMP-13, which are key mediators of the structural changes that take place in osteoarthritis.
doi:10.1186/ar2649
PMCID: PMC2688188  PMID: 19291317
18.  Increased expression of lipocalin-type prostaglandin D2 synthase in osteoarthritic cartilage 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2008;10(6):R146.
Introduction
Prostaglandin D synthase (PGDS) is responsible for the biosynthesis of PGD and J series, which have been shown to exhibit anti-inflammatory and anticatabolic effects. Two isoforms have been identified: hematopoietic- and lipocalin-type PGDS (H-PGDS and L-PGDS, respectively). The aims of this study were to investigate the expressions of H-PGDS and L-PGDS in cartilage from healthy donors and from patients with osteoarthritis (OA) and to characterize their regulation by interleukin-1-beta (IL-1β) in cultured OA chondrocytes.
Methods
The expressions of H-PGDS and L-PGDS mRNA and protein in cartilage were analyzed by real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and immunohistochemistry, respectively. Chondrocytes were stimulated with IL-1β, and the expression of L-PGDS was evaluated by real-time RT-PCR and Western blotting. The roles of de novo protein synthesis and of the signalling pathways mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs), nuclear factor-kappa-B (NF-κB), and Notch were evaluated using specific pharmacological inhibitors.
Results
L-PGDS and H-PGDS mRNAs were present in both healthy and OA cartilage, with higher levels of L-PGDS than H-PGDS (> 20-fold). The levels of L-PGDS mRNA and protein were increased in OA compared with healthy cartilage. Treatment of chondrocytes with IL-1β upregulated L-PGDS mRNA and protein expressions as well as PGD2 production in a dose- and time-dependent manner. The upregulation of L-PGDS by IL-1β was blocked by the translational inhibitor cycloheximide, indicating that this effect is indirect, requiring de novo protein synthesis. Specific inhibitors of the MAPK p38 (SB 203580) and c-jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) (SP600125) and of the NF-κB (SN-50) and Notch (DAPT) signalling pathways suppressed IL-1β-induced upregulation of L-PGDS expression. In contrast, an inhibitor of the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK/MAPK) (PD98059) demonstrated no significant influence. We also found that PGD2 prevented IL-1β-induced upregulation of L-PGDS expression.
Conclusions
This is the first report demonstrating increased levels of L-PGDS in OA cartilage. IL-1β may be responsible for this upregulation through activation of the JNK and p38 MAPK and NF-κB signalling pathways. These data suggest that L-PGDS might have an important role in the pathophysiology of OA.
doi:10.1186/ar2581
PMCID: PMC2656251  PMID: 19094210
19.  Analysis of the precision and sensitivity to change of different approaches to assess cartilage loss by quantitative MRI in a longitudinal multicentre clinical trial in patients with knee osteoarthritis 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2008;10(6):R129.
Introduction
Cartilage thickness and volume loss measurements using quantitative magnetic resonance imaging (qMRI) are suggested to detect significant cartilage changes over short time intervals. We aimed to compare these two different approaches looking at the global knee and subregions, using data from an osteoarthritis (OA) multicentre randomised clinical trial.
Methods
Three hundred and fifty-five patients with symptomatic knee OA were recruited for a two-year, double-blind, randomised clinical trial evaluating the effect of 200 mg licofelone twice daily and 500 mg naproxen twice daily on cartilage loss, and 301 patients had baseline MRI. MRIs were performed at baseline, 6, 12 and 24 months. Cartilage volume and thickness in the global joint, medial and lateral compartments, and central weight-bearing subregions of the medial and lateral femoral condyles and tibial plateaus were analysed. Data were analysed for the mean value imputed for intent-to-treat (ITT-MVI) and statistical analyses were performed using two-sample Student's t-test.
Results
Cartilage mean thickness loss in the global joint, lateral and medial compartments, as well as in medial compartments stratified according to patients with or without meniscal extrusion, was significantly less in the licofelone compared with the naproxen group at 12 and 24 months. Interestingly, these data were similar to those found when using cartilage volume loss as an outcome. Although greater cartilage volume and mean thickness loss was seen in central weight-bearing subregions of the medial and lateral compartments compared with the whole compartment and also in patients with meniscal lesions/extrusion, suggesting good sensitivity to change, its high standard deviation precluded for the condyles a high statistical power and abrogated statistically significant differences between the treatment groups.
Conclusions
These data demonstrate that both the measurement of cartilage thickness and that of cartilage volume provide the same level of sensitivity to estimate cartilage loss in a clinical trial. However, the potential of gaining statistical power with the use of thickness/volume change in knee subregions as an outcome seems negated by high inter-patient variability. Moreover, there is no superiority in statistical power by selecting patients with meniscal extrusion.
doi:10.1186/ar2543
PMCID: PMC2656228  PMID: 18986534
20.  Diacerein inhibits the synthesis of resorptive enzymes and reduces osteoclastic differentiation/survival in osteoarthritic subchondral bone: a possible mechanism for a protective effect against subchondral bone remodelling 
Introduction
Subchondral bone alterations represent an essential component of osteoarthritis (OA). Modifying the abnormal subchondral bone metabolism may be indicated to treat OA. We investigated the effect of diacerein and rhein on the changes occurring in subchondral bone during OA. To this end, we determined the drugs' effects on metalloprotease-13 (MMP-13) synthesis on subchondral bone and on the osteoblast signalling pathways. In osteoclasts, we studied MMP-13 and cathepsin K production as well as cell differentiation, proliferation, and survival.
Methods
The effect of diacerein/rhein on the production of subchondral bone MMP-13 was determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Signalling pathways were evaluated on osteoblasts by Western blot. Osteoclast experiments were performed using cells from the pre-osteoclastic murine cell line Raw 264.7. Osteoclast MMP-13 and cathepsin K activities were determined by specific bioassays and differentiation of these cells quantified by tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase staining.
Results
Diacerein and rhein reduced, in a dose-dependent manner, the interleukin-1-beta (IL-1β)-induced MMP-13 production in OA subchondral bone. This effect occurred through the inhibition of ERK1/2 (extracellular signal-regulated kinase-1/2) and p38. In osteoclasts, they significantly reduced the activity of MMP-13 and cathepsin K. Moreover, these drugs effectively blocked the IL-1β effect on the osteoclast differentiation process and the survival of mature osteoclasts.
Conclusion
Altogether, these data suggest that diacerein/rhein could impact the abnormal subchondral bone metabolism in OA by reducing the synthesis of resorptive factors and osteoclast formation.
doi:10.1186/ar2444
PMCID: PMC2483463  PMID: 18578867
21.  Association between meniscal tears and the peak external knee adduction moment and foot rotation during level walking in postmenopausal women without knee osteoarthritis: a cross-sectional study 
Introduction
Meniscal injury is a risk factor for the development and progression of knee osteoarthritis, yet little is known about risk factors for meniscal pathology. Joint loading mediated via gait parameters may be associated with meniscal tears, and determining whether such an association exists was the aim of this study.
Methods
Three-dimensional Vicon gait analyses were performed on the dominant knee of 20 non-osteoarthritic women, and the peak external knee adduction moment during early and late stance was determined. The degree of foot rotation was also examined when the knee adductor moment peaked during early and late stance. Magnetic resonance imaging was used to determine the presence and severity of meniscal lesions in the dominant knee.
Results
The presence (P = 0.04) and severity (P = 0.01) of medial meniscal tears were positively associated with the peak external knee adduction moment during early stance while a trend for late stance was observed (P = 0.07). They were also associated with increasing degrees of internal foot rotation during late stance, independent of the magnitude of the peak external knee adduction moment occurring at that time (P = 0.03). During level walking among healthy women, the presence and severity of medial meniscal tears were positively associated with the peak external knee adduction moment. Moreover, the magnitude of internal foot rotation was associated with the presence and severity of medial meniscal lesions, independent of the peak knee adductor moment during late stance.
Conclusion
These data may suggest that gait parameters may be associated with meniscal damage, although longitudinal studies will be required to clarify whether gait abnormalities predate meniscal lesions, or vice versa, and therefore whether modification of gait patterns may be helpful.
doi:10.1186/ar2428
PMCID: PMC2483448  PMID: 18492234
22.  Activation of proteinase-activated receptor 2 in human osteoarthritic cartilage upregulates catabolic and proinflammatory pathways capable of inducing cartilage degradation: a basic science study 
Proteinase-activated receptors (PARs) belong to a family of G protein-coupled receptors. PARs are activated by a serine-dependent cleavage generating a tethered activating ligand. PAR-2 was shown to be involved in inflammatory pathways. We investigated the in situ levels and modulation of PAR-2 in human normal and osteoarthritis (OA) cartilage/chondrocytes. Furthermore, we evaluated the role of PAR-2 on the synthesis of the major catabolic factors in OA cartilage, including metalloproteinase (MMP)-1 and MMP-13 and the inflammatory mediator cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2), as well as the PAR-2-activated signalling pathways in OA chondrocytes. PAR-2 expression was determined using real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and protein levels by immunohistochemistry in normal and OA cartilage. Protein modulation was investigated in OA cartilage explants treated with a specific PAR-2-activating peptide (PAR-2-AP), SLIGKV-NH2 (1 to 400 μM), interleukin 1 beta (IL-1β) (100 pg/mL), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) (5 ng/mL), transforming growth factor-beta-1 (TGF-β1) (10 ng/mL), or the signalling pathway inhibitors of p38 (SB202190), MEK1/2 (mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase) (PD98059), and nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) (SN50), and PAR-2 levels were determined by immunohistochemistry. Signalling pathways were analyzed on OA chondrocytes by Western blot using specific phospho-antibodies against extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (Erk1/2), p38, JNK (c-jun N-terminal kinase), and NF-κB in the presence or absence of the PAR-2-AP and/or IL-1β. PAR-2-induced MMP and COX-2 levels in cartilage were determined by immunohistochemistry. PAR-2 is produced by human chondrocytes and is significantly upregulated in OA compared with normal chondrocytes (p < 0.04 and p < 0.03, respectively). The receptor levels were significantly upregulated by IL-1β (p < 0.006) and TNF-α (p < 0.002) as well as by the PAR-2-AP at 10, 100, and 400 μM (p < 0.02) and were downregulated by the inhibition of p38. After 48 hours of incubation, PAR-2 activation significantly induced MMP-1 and COX-2 starting at 10 μM (both p < 0.005) and MMP-13 at 100 μM (p < 0.02) as well as the phosphorylation of Erk1/2 and p38 within 5 minutes of incubation (p < 0.03). Though not statistically significant, IL-1β produced an additional effect on the activation of Erk1/2 and p38. This study documents, for the first time, functional consequences of PAR-2 activation in human OA cartilage, identifies p38 as the major signalling pathway regulating its synthesis, and demonstrates that specific PAR-2 activation induces Erk1/2 and p38 in OA chondrocytes. These results suggest PAR-2 as a potential new therapeutic target for the treatment of OA.
doi:10.1186/ar2329
PMCID: PMC2246240  PMID: 18031579
23.  Chondroitin and glucosamine sulfate in combination decrease the pro-resorptive properties of human osteoarthritis subchondral bone osteoblasts: a basic science study 
Early in the pathological process of osteoarthritis (OA), subchondral bone remodelling, which is related to altered osteoblast metabolism, takes place. In the present study, we explored in human OA subchondral bone whether chondroitin sulfate (CS), glucosamine sulfate (GS), or both together affect the major bone biomarkers, osteoprotegerin (OPG), receptor activator of nuclear factor-kappa B ligand (RANKL), and the pro-resorptive activity of OA osteoblasts. The effect of CS (200 μg/mL), GS (50 and 200 μg/mL), or both together on human OA subchondral bone osteoblasts, in the presence or absence of 1,25(OH)2D3 (vitamin D3) (50 nM), was determined on the bone biomarkers alkaline phosphatase and osteocalcin, on the expression (mRNA) and production (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) of bone remodelling factors OPG and RANKL, and on the pro-resorptive activity of these cells. For the latter experiments, human OA osteoblasts were incubated with differentiated peripheral blood mononuclear cells on a sub-micron synthetic calcium phosphate thin film. Data showed that CS and GS affected neither basal nor vitamin D3-induced alkaline phosphatase or osteocalcin release. Interestingly, OPG expression and production under basal conditions or vitamin D3 treatment were upregulated by CS and by both CS and GS incubated together. Under basal conditions, RANKL expression was significantly reduced by CS and by both drugs incubated together. Under vitamin D3, these drugs also showed a decrease in RANKL level, which, however, did not reach statistical significance. Importantly, under basal conditions, CS and both compounds combined significantly upregulated the expression ratio of OPG/RANKL. Vitamin D3 decreased this ratio, and GS further decreased it. Both drugs reduced the resorption activity, and statistical significance was reached for GS and when CS and GS were incubated together. Our data indicate that CS and GS do not overly affect cell integrity or bone biomarkers. Yet CS and both compounds together increase the expression ratio of OPG/RANKL, suggesting a positive effect on OA subchondral bone structural changes. This was confirmed by the decreased resorptive activity for the combination of CS and GS. These data are of major significance and may help to explain how these two drugs exert a positive effect on OA pathophysiology.
doi:10.1186/ar2325
PMCID: PMC2246236  PMID: 17996099
24.  Risk factors associated with the loss of cartilage volume on weight-bearing areas in knee osteoarthritis patients assessed by quantitative magnetic resonance imaging: a longitudinal study 
The objective of this study was to identify, on a symptomatic knee osteoarthritis (OA) cohort, the risk factors associated with the progression of the disease. More specifically, we investigated the correlation between knee cartilage volume loss from subregions over the span of 24 months by means of quantitative magnetic resonance imaging (qMRI) with demographic, clinical, radiological, and MRI structural changes.
A cohort of 107 patients with knee OA selected from a large trial evaluating the effect of a bisphosphonate underwent x-rays and MRI of the knee at baseline and 24 months. Joint space width (JSW) and joint space narrowing (JSN) and cartilage volume loss over time in subregions of the tibial plateaus and femoral condyles were quantitated. Structural changes in the subchondral bone (hypersignal) and in the menisci (tear and extrusion) were also evaluated.
The greatest cartilage volume loss was found in the medial compartment, and risk factors included female gender, JSW, meniscal lesions, and bone changes at baseline. Subregion analysis revealed that the greatest cartilage volume loss at 24 months was found in the central area of the medial tibial plateau (15%; p < 0.0001) and of the medial femoral condyle (12%; p < 0.0001). These findings were associated with the presence at baseline of meniscal extrusion, particularly severe meniscal extrusion, medial and severe meniscal tear, bone hypersignal, high body mass index (BMI), smaller JSW, increases in Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) pain and patient global scores over time, and greater JSN. Parameters predicting medial central femoral condyle cartilage volume loss at 24 months were lateral meniscal tear, SF-36 and BMI at baseline, and JSN. At the medial central tibial plateau, the parameters were severe meniscal extrusion, severe lateral meniscal tear, and bone hypersignal in the lateral compartment at baseline, and WOMAC pain change.
Meniscal damage and bone changes are the features most closely associated with the greatest subregional cartilage volume loss. Interestingly, for the first time, JSN was strongly associated with cartilage loss in the central areas of plateaus and condyles. This study also further confirms the correlation between cartilage volume loss and JSN and symptomatic changes at 24 months.
doi:10.1186/ar2272
PMCID: PMC2206376  PMID: 17672891
25.  Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ1 expression is diminished in human osteoarthritic cartilage and is downregulated by interleukin-1β in articular chondrocytes 
Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) is a nuclear receptor involved in the regulation of many cellular processes. We and others have previously shown that PPARγ activators display anti-inflammatory and chondroprotective properties in vitro and improve the clinical course and histopathological features in an experimental animal model of osteoarthritis (OA). However, the expression and regulation of PPARγ expression in cartilage are poorly defined. This study was undertaken to investigate the quantitative expression and distribution of PPARγ in normal and OA cartilage and to evaluate the effect of IL-1β, a prominent cytokine in OA, on PPARγ expression in cultured chondrocytes. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed that the levels of PPARγ protein expression were significantly lower in OA cartilage than in normal cartilage. Using real-time RT-PCR, we demonstrated that PPARγ1 mRNA levels were about 10-fold higher than PPARγ2 mRNA levels, and that only PPARγ1 was differentially expressed: its levels in OA cartilage was 2.4-fold lower than in normal cartilage (p < 0.001). IL-1 treatment of OA chondrocytes downregulated PPARγ1 expression in a dose- and time-dependent manner. This effect probably occurred at the transcriptional level, because IL-1 decreases both PPARγ1 mRNA expression and PPARγ1 promoter activity. TNF-α, IL-17, and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), which are involved in the pathogenesis of OA, also downregulated PPARγ1 expression. Specific inhibitors of the mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) p38 (SB203580) and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (SP600125), but not of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (PD98059), prevented IL-1-induced downregulation of PPARγ1 expression. Similarly, inhibitors of NF-κB signaling (pyrrolidine dithiocarbamate, MG-132, and SN-50) abolished the suppressive effect of IL-1. Thus, our study demonstrated that PPARγ1 is downregulated in OA cartilage. The pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-1 may be responsible for this downregulation via a mechanism involving activation of the MAPKs (p38 and JNK) and NF-κB signaling pathways. The IL-1-induced downregulation of PPARγ expression might be a new and additional important process by which IL-1 promotes articular inflammation and cartilage degradation.
doi:10.1186/ar2151
PMCID: PMC1906809  PMID: 17386086

Results 1-25 (34)