ResearchPad - chondrocytes https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Quantitative live imaging of Venus::BMAL1 in a mouse model reveals complex dynamics of the master circadian clock regulator]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13838 Cell-autonomous circadian clocks are transcriptional/translational feedback loops that co-ordinate almost all mammalian physiology and behaviour. Although their genetic basis is well understood, we are largely ignorant of the natural behaviour of clock proteins and how they work within these loops. This is particularly true for the essential transcriptional activator BMAL1. To address this, we created and validated a mouse carrying a fully functional knock-in allele that encodes a fluorescent fusion of BMAL1 (Venus::BMAL1). Quantitative live imaging in tissue explants and cells, including the central clock of the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), revealed the circadian expression, nuclear-cytoplasmic mobility, fast kinetics and surprisingly low molecular abundance of endogenous BMAL1, providing significant quantitative insights into the intracellular mechanisms of circadian timing at single-cell resolution.

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<![CDATA[Reduction of osteoarthritis severity in the temporomandibular joint of rabbits treated with chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N10336f10-2066-4958-9182-9e228dac929f

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that causes substantial changes in joint tissues, such as cartilage degeneration and subchondral bone sclerosis. Chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine are commonly used products for the symptomatic treatment of osteoarthritis. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of these products when used as structure-modifying drugs on the progression of osteoarthritis in the rabbit temporomandibular joint. Thirty-six New Zealand rabbits were divided into 3 groups (n = 12/group): control (no disease); osteoarthritis (disease induction); and treatment (disease induction and administration of chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine). Osteoarthritis was induced by intra-articular injection of monosodium iodoacetate. Animals were killed at 30 and 90 days after initiation of therapy. The treatment was effective in reducing disease severity, with late effects and changes in the concentration of glycosaminoglycans in the articular disc. The results indicate that chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine may have a structure-modifying effect on the tissues of rabbit temporomandibular joints altered by osteoarthritis.

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<![CDATA[Systems biology reveals how altered TGFβ signalling with age reduces protection against pro-inflammatory stimuli]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c536b3fd5eed0c484a4846b

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative condition caused by dysregulation of multiple molecular signalling pathways. Such dysregulation results in damage to cartilage, a smooth and protective tissue that enables low friction articulation of synovial joints. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), especially MMP-13, are key enzymes in the cleavage of type II collagen which is a vital component for cartilage integrity. Transforming growth factor beta (TGFβ) can protect against pro-inflammatory cytokine-mediated MMP expression. With age there is a change in the ratio of two TGFβ type I receptors (Alk1/Alk5), a shift that results in TGFβ losing its protective role in cartilage homeostasis. Instead, TGFβ promotes cartilage degradation which correlates with the spontaneous development of OA in murine models. However, the mechanism by which TGFβ protects against pro-inflammatory responses and how this changes with age has not been extensively studied. As TGFβ signalling is complex, we used systems biology to combine experimental and computational outputs to examine how the system changes with age. Experiments showed that the repressive effect of TGFβ on chondrocytes treated with a pro-inflammatory stimulus required Alk5. Computational modelling revealed two independent mechanisms were needed to explain the crosstalk between TGFβ and pro-inflammatory signalling pathways. A novel meta-analysis of microarray data from OA patient tissue was used to create a Cytoscape network representative of human OA and revealed the importance of inflammation. Combining the modelled genes with the microarray network provided a global overview into the crosstalk between the different signalling pathways involved in OA development. Our results provide further insights into the mechanisms that cause TGFβ signalling to change from a protective to a detrimental pathway in cartilage with ageing. Moreover, such a systems biology approach may enable restoration of the protective role of TGFβ as a potential therapy to prevent age-related loss of cartilage and the development of OA.

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<![CDATA[Computational model for the patella onset]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1966c6d5eed0c484b52d75

The patella is a sesamoid bone embedded within the quadriceps tendon and the patellar tendon that articulates with the femur. However, how is it formed is still unknown. Therefore, here we have evaluated, computationally, how three theories explain, independently, the patella onset. The first theory was proposed recently, in 2015. This theory suggested that the patella is initially formed as a bone eminence, attached to the anterodistal surface of the femur, while the quadriceps tendon is forming. Thereafter, a joint develops between the eminence and the femur, regulated by mechanical load. We evaluated this theory by simulating the biochemical environment that surrounds the tendon development. As a result, we obtained a patella-like structure embedded within the tendon, especially for larger flexion angles. The second and third theories are the most accepted until now. They state that the patella develops within tendons in response to the mechanical environment provided by the attaching muscles. The second theory analyzed the mechanical conditions (high hydrostatic stress) that (according to previous Carter theories) lead to the differentiation from tendon to fibrocartilage, and then, to bone. The last theory was evaluated using the self-optimizing capability of biological tissue. It was considered that the development of the patella, due to tissue topological optimization of the developing quadriceps tendon, is a feasible explanation of the patella appearance. For both theories, a patella onset was obtained as a structure embedded within the tendon. This model provided information about the relationship between the flexion angle and the patella size and shape. In conclusion, the computational models used to evaluate and analyze the selected theories allow determining that the patella onset may be the result of a combination of biochemical and mechanical factors that surround the patellar tendon development.

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<![CDATA[Differential aging of growth plate cartilage underlies differences in bone length and thus helps determine skeletal proportions]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b60363a463d7e4090b7ce28

Bones at different anatomical locations vary dramatically in size. For example, human femurs are 20-fold longer than the phalanges in the fingers and toes. The mechanisms responsible for these size differences are poorly understood. Bone elongation occurs at the growth plates and advances rapidly in early life but then progressively slows due to a developmental program termed “growth plate senescence.” This developmental program includes declines in cell proliferation and hypertrophy, depletion of cells in all growth plate zones, and extensive underlying changes in the expression of growth-regulating genes. Here, we show evidence that these functional, structural, and molecular senescent changes occur earlier in the growth plates of smaller bones (metacarpals, phalanges) than in the growth plates of larger bones (femurs, tibias) and that this differential aging contributes to the disparities in bone length. We also show evidence that the molecular mechanisms that underlie the differential aging between different bones involve modulation of critical paracrine regulatory pathways, including insulin-like growth factor (Igf), bone morphogenetic protein (Bmp), and Wingless and Int-1 (Wnt) signaling. Taken together, the findings reveal that the striking disparities in the lengths of different bones, which characterize normal mammalian skeletal proportions, is achieved in part by modulating the progression of growth plate senescence.

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<![CDATA[Effects of collagen matrix and bioreactor cultivation on cartilage regeneration of a full-thickness critical-size knee joint cartilage defects with subchondral bone damage in a rabbit model]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b59f2e5463d7e7e115148cf

Cartilage has limited self-repair ability. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of different species of collagen-engineered neocartilage for the treatment of critical-size defects in the articular joint in a rabbit model. Type II and I collagen obtained from rabbits and rats was mixed to form a scaffold. The type II/I collagen scaffold was then mixed with rabbit chondrocytes to biofabricate neocartilage constructs using a rotating cell culture system [three-dimensional (3D)-bioreactor]. The rabbit chondrocytes were mixed with rabbit collagen scaffold and rat collagen scaffold to form neoRBT (neo-rabbit cartilage) and neoRAT (neo-rat cartilage) constructs, respectively. The neocartilage matrix constructs were implanted into surgically created defects in rabbit knee chondyles, and histological examinations were performed after 2 and 3 months. Cartilage-like lacunae formation surrounding the chondrocytes was noted in the cell cultures. After 3 months, both the neoRBT and neoRAT groups showed cartilage-like repair tissue covering the 5-mm circular, 4-mm-deep defects that were created in the rabbit condyle and filled with neocartilage plugs. Reparative chondrocytes were aligned as apparent clusters in both the neoRAT and neoRBT groups. Both neoRBT and neoRAT cartilage repair demonstrated integration with healthy adjacent tissue; however, more integration was obtained using the neoRAT cartilage. Our data indicate that different species of type II/I collagen matrix and 3D bioreactor cultivation can facilitate cartilage engineering in vitro for the repair of critical-size defect.

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<![CDATA[Insulin-Like Growth Factor I Does Not Drive New Bone Formation in Experimental Arthritis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db3eab0ee8fa60bd5d25

Introduction

Insulin like growth factor (IGF)-I can act on a variety of cells involved in cartilage and bone repair, yet IGF-I has not been studied extensively in the context of inflammatory arthritis. The objective of this study was to investigate whether IGF-I overexpression in the osteoblast lineage could lead to increased reparative or pathological bone formation in rheumatoid arthritis and/or spondyloarthritis respectively.

Methods

Mice overexpressing IGF-I in the osteoblast lineage (Ob-IGF-I+/-) line 324–7 were studied during collagen induced arthritis and in the DBA/1 aging model for ankylosing enthesitis. Mice were scored clinically and peripheral joints were analysed histologically for the presence of hypertrophic chondrocytes and osteocalcin positive osteoblasts.

Results

90–100% of the mice developed CIA with no differences between the Ob-IGF-I+/- and non-transgenic littermates. Histological analysis revealed similar levels of hypertrophic chondrocytes and osteocalcin positive osteoblasts in the ankle joints. In the DBA/1 aging model for ankylosing enthesitis 60% of the mice in both groups had a clinical score 1<. Severity was similar between both groups. Histological analysis revealed the presence of hypertrophic chondrocytes and osteocalcin positive osteoblasts in the toes in equal levels.

Conclusion

Overexpression of IGF-I in the osteoblast lineage does not contribute to an increase in repair of erosions or syndesmophyte formation in mouse models for destructive and remodeling arthritis.

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<![CDATA[Interstitial Perfusion Culture with Specific Soluble Factors Inhibits Type I Collagen Production from Human Osteoarthritic Chondrocytes in Clinical-Grade Collagen Sponges]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9ecab0ee8fa60b6cf0c

Articular cartilage has poor healing ability and cartilage injuries often evolve to osteoarthritis. Cell-based strategies aiming to engineer cartilaginous tissue through the combination of biocompatible scaffolds and articular chondrocytes represent an alternative to standard surgical techniques. In this context, perfusion bioreactors have been introduced to enhance cellular access to oxygen and nutrients, hence overcoming the limitations of static culture and improving matrix deposition. Here, we combined an optimized cocktail of soluble factors, the BIT (BMP-2, Insulin, Thyroxin), and clinical-grade collagen sponges with a bidirectional perfusion bioreactor, namely the oscillating perfusion bioreactor (OPB), to engineer in vitro articular cartilage by human articular chondrocytes (HACs) obtained from osteoarthritic patients. After amplification, HACs were seeded and cultivated in collagen sponges either in static or dynamic conditions. Chondrocyte phenotype and the nature of the matrix synthesized by HACs were assessed using western blotting and immunohistochemistry analyses. Finally, the stability of the cartilaginous tissue produced by HACs was evaluated in vivo by subcutaneous implantation in nude mice. Our results showed that perfusion improved the distribution and quality of cartilaginous matrix deposited within the sponges, compared to static conditions. Specifically, dynamic culture in the OPB, in combination with the BIT cocktail, resulted in the homogeneous production of extracellular matrix rich in type II collagen. Remarkably, the production of type I collagen, a marker of fibrous tissues, was also inhibited, indicating that the association of the OPB with the BIT cocktail limits fibrocartilage formation, favoring the reconstruction of hyaline cartilage.

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<![CDATA[Rebamipide Attenuates Mandibular Condylar Degeneration in a Murine Model of TMJ-OA by Mediating a Chondroprotective Effect and by Downregulating RANKL-Mediated Osteoclastogenesis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daedab0ee8fa60bbff6c

Temporomandibular joint osteoarthritis (TMJ-OA) is characterized by progressive degradation of cartilage and changes in subchondral bone. It is also one of the most serious subgroups of temporomandibular disorders. Rebamipide is a gastroprotective agent that is currently used for the treatment of gastritis and gastric ulcers. It scavenges reactive oxygen radicals and has exhibited anti-inflammatory potential. The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of rebamipide both in vivo and in vitro on the development of cartilage degeneration and osteoclast activity in an experimental murine model of TMJ-OA, and to explore its mode of action. Oral administration of rebamipide (0.6 mg/kg and 6 mg/kg) was initiated 24 h after TMJ-OA was induced, and was maintained daily for four weeks. Rebamipide treatment was found to attenuate cartilage degeneration, to reduce the number of apoptotic cells, and to decrease the expression levels of matrix metalloproteinase-13 (MMP-13) and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) in TMJ-OA cartilage in a dose-dependent manner. Rebamipide also suppressed the activation of transcription factors (e.g., NF-κB, NFATc1) and mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK) by receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa-B ligand (RANKL) to inhibit the differentiation of osteoclastic precursors, and disrupted the formation of actin rings in mature osteoclasts. Together, these results demonstrate the inhibitory effects of rebamipide on cartilage degradation in experimentally induced TMJ-OA. Furthermore, suppression of oxidative damage, restoration of extracellular matrix homeostasis of articular chondrocytes, and reduced subchondral bone loss as a result of blocked osteoclast activation suggest that rebamipide is a potential therapeutic strategy for TMJ-OA.

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<![CDATA[The Transcription Factor Hand1 Is Involved In Runx2-Ihh-Regulated Endochondral Ossification]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da27ab0ee8fa60b80ecf

The developing long bone is a model of endochondral ossification that displays the morphological layers of chondrocytes toward the ossification center of the diaphysis. Indian hedgehog (Ihh), a member of the hedgehog family of secreted molecules, regulates chondrocyte proliferation and differentiation, as well as osteoblast differentiation, through the process of endochondral ossification. Here, we report that the basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor Hand1, which is expressed in the cartilage primordia, is involved in proper osteogenesis of the bone collar via its control of Ihh production. Genetic overexpression of Hand1 in the osteochondral progenitors resulted in prenatal hypoplastic or aplastic ossification in the diaphyses, mimicking an Ihh loss-of-function phenotype. Ihh expression was downregulated in femur epiphyses of Hand1-overexpressing mice. We also confirmed that Hand1 downregulated Ihh gene expression in vitro by inhibiting Runx2 transactivation of the Ihh proximal promoter. These results demonstrate that Hand1 in chondrocytes regulates endochondral ossification, at least in part through the Runx2-Ihh axis.

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<![CDATA[Development of an Arthroscopic Joint Capsule Injury Model in the Canine Shoulder]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dad2ab0ee8fa60bb67e8

Background

The natural history of rotator cuff tears can be unfavorable as patients develop fatty infiltration and muscle atrophy that is often associated with a loss of muscle strength and shoulder function. To facilitate study of possible biologic mechanisms involved in early degenerative changes to rotator cuff muscle and tendon tissues, the objective of this study was to develop a joint capsule injury model in the canine shoulder using arthroscopy.

Methods

Arthroscopic surgical methods for performing a posterior joint capsulectomy in the canine shoulder were first defined in cadavers. Subsequently, one canine subject underwent bilateral shoulder joint capsulectomy using arthroscopy, arthroscopic surveillance at 2, 4 and 8 weeks, and gross and histologic examination of the joint at 10 weeks.

Results

The canine subject was weight-bearing within eight hours after index and follow-up surgeries and had no significant soft tissue swelling of the shoulder girdle or gross lameness. Chronic synovitis and macroscopic and microscopic evidence of pathologic changes to the rotator cuff bony insertions, tendons, myotendinous junctions and muscles were observed.

Conclusions

This study demonstrates feasibility and proof-of-concept for a joint capsule injury model in the canine shoulder. Future work is needed to define the observed pathologic changes and their role in the progression of rotator cuff disease. Ultimately, better understanding of the biologic mechanisms of early progression of rotator cuff disease may lead to clinical interventions to halt or slow this process and avoid the more advanced and often irreversible conditions of large tendon tears with muscle fatty atrophy.

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<![CDATA[A consistent and potentially exploitable response during chondrogenesis of mesenchymal stem cells from osteoarthritis patients to the protein encoded by the susceptibility gene GDF5]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5aab0ee8fa60bdf624

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a common joint disease characterised by the focal loss of the protective cartilage layer at the ends of the bones. It is painful, disabling, multifactorial and polygenic. The growth differentiation factor 5 gene GDF5 was one of the first reported OA susceptibility signals that showed consistent association to OA, with the transcript single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs143383 demonstrating association in Asians and Europeans. The functional effect of the signal is reduced expression of the gene. The GDF5 protein is an extracellular matrix signalling molecule that is active during chondrogenesis and in mature chondrocytes. Due to the functional impact of the susceptibility, we previously assessed the effect of supplementing chondrocytes from OA patients with exogenous GDF5. Their response was highly discordant, precluding the application of GDF5 as a simple means of attenuating the genetic deficit. Since GDF5 is also active during development, we have now assessed the effect of exogenous GDF5 on bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) that are undergoing chondrogenesis during cartilage disc formation. MSCs from healthy donors and OA patients were studied and the effect of GDF5 was assessed by measuring the wet mass of the discs, by histological staining, and by monitoring the change in expression of anabolic, catabolic and hypertrophic protein-coding genes. The MSCs expressed the three principal GDF5 receptor genes and responded in a significantly anabolic manner (increase in wet mass, p = 0.0022; Bonferroni corrected p = 0.018) to a variant form of GDF5 that targets the most abundantly expressed receptor, BMPR-IA. GDF5 elicited significant (p < 0.05) changes in the expression of anabolic, catabolic and hypertrophic genes with several consistent effects in healthy donors and in OA patients. Our data implies that, unlike OA chondrocytes, OA MSCs do respond in a predictable, anabolic manner to GDF5, which could therefore provide a route to modulate the genetic deficit mediated by the rs143383 association signal.

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<![CDATA[Cyclic Equibiaxial Tensile Strain Alters Gene Expression of Chondrocytes via Histone Deacetylase 4 Shuttling]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dacdab0ee8fa60bb4fb8

Objectives

This paper aims to investigate whether equibiaxial tensile strain alters chondrocyte gene expression via controlling subcellular localization of histone deacetylase 4 (HDAC4).

Materials and Methods

Murine chondrocytes transfected with GFP-HDAC4 were subjected to 3 h cyclic equibiaxial tensile strain (CTS, 6% strain at 0.25 Hz) by a Flexcell® FX-5000 Tension System. Fluorescence microscope and western blot were used to observe subcellular location of HDAC4. The gene expression was analyzed by real-time RT-PCR. The concentration of Glycosaminoglycans in culture medium was quantified by bimethylmethylene blue dye; Collagen II protein was evaluated by western blot. Cells phenotype was identified by immunohistochemistry. Cell viability was evaluated by live-dead cell detect kit. Okadaic acid, an inhibitor of HDAC4 nuclear relocation, was used to further validate whether HDAC4 nuclear relocation plays a role in gene expression in response to tension stimulation.

Results

87.5% of HDAC4 was located in the cytoplasm in chondrocytes under no loading condition, but it was relocated to the nucleus after CTS. RT-PCR analysis showed that levels of mRNA for aggrecan, collagen II, LK1 and SOX9 were all increased in chondrocytes subjected to CTS as compared to no loading control chondrocytes; in contrast, the levels of type X collagen, MMP-13, IHH and Runx2 gene expression were decreased in the chondrocytes subjected to CTS as compared to control chondrocytes. Meanwhile, CTS contributed to elevation of glycosaminoglycans and collagen II protein, but did not change collagen I production. When Okadaic acid blocked HDAC4 relocation from the cytoplasm to nucleus, the changes of the chondrocytes induced by CTS were abrogated. There was no chondrocyte dead detected in this study in response to CTS.

Conclusions

CTS is able to induce HDAC4 relocation from cytoplasm to nucleus. Thus, CTS alters chondrocytes gene expression in association with the relocation of HDAC4 induced by CTS.

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<![CDATA[Mice with an N-Ethyl-N-Nitrosourea (ENU) Induced Tyr209Asn Mutation in Natriuretic Peptide Receptor 3 (NPR3) Provide a Model for Kyphosis Associated with Activation of the MAPK Signaling Pathway]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da72ab0ee8fa60b95233

Non-syndromic kyphosis is a common disorder that is associated with significant morbidity and has a strong genetic involvement; however, the causative genes remain to be identified, as such studies are hampered by genetic heterogeneity, small families and various modes of inheritance. To overcome these limitations, we investigated 12 week old progeny of mice treated with the chemical mutagen N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea (ENU) using phenotypic assessments including dysmorphology, radiography, and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. This identified a mouse with autosomal recessive kyphosis (KYLB). KYLB mice, when compared to unaffected littermates, had: thoraco-lumbar kyphosis, larger vertebrae, and increased body length and increased bone area. In addition, female KYLB mice had increases in bone mineral content and plasma alkaline phosphatase activity. Recombination mapping localized the Kylb locus to a 5.5Mb region on chromosome 15A1, which contained 51 genes, including the natriuretic peptide receptor 3 (Npr3) gene. DNA sequence analysis of Npr3 identified a missense mutation, Tyr209Asn, which introduced an N-linked glycosylation consensus sequence. Expression of wild-type NPR3 and the KYLB-associated Tyr209Asn NPR3 mutant in COS-7 cells demonstrated the mutant to be associated with abnormal N-linked glycosylation and retention in the endoplasmic reticulum that resulted in its absence from the plasma membrane. NPR3 is a decoy receptor for C-type natriuretic peptide (CNP), which also binds to NPR2 and stimulates mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling, thereby increasing the number and size of hypertrophic chondrocytes. Histomorphometric analysis of KYLB vertebrae and tibiae showed delayed endochondral ossification and expansion of the hypertrophic zones of the growth plates, and immunohistochemistry revealed increased p38 MAPK phosphorylation throughout the growth plates of KYLB vertebrae. Thus, we established a model of kyphosis due to a novel NPR3 mutation, in which loss of plasma membrane NPR3 expression results in increased MAPK pathway activation, causing elongation of the vertebrae and resulting in kyphosis.

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<![CDATA[TGFβ and BMP Dependent Cell Fate Changes Due to Loss of Filamin B Produces Disc Degeneration and Progressive Vertebral Fusions]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da62ab0ee8fa60b91249

Spondylocarpotarsal synostosis (SCT) is an autosomal recessive disorder characterized by progressive vertebral fusions and caused by loss of function mutations in Filamin B (FLNB). FLNB acts as a signaling scaffold by linking the actin cytoskleteon to signal transduction systems, yet the disease mechanisms for SCT remain unclear. Employing a Flnb knockout mouse, we found morphologic and molecular evidence that the intervertebral discs (IVDs) of Flnb–/–mice undergo rapid and progressive degeneration during postnatal development as a result of abnormal cell fate changes in the IVD, particularly the annulus fibrosus (AF). In Flnb–/–mice, the AF cells lose their typical fibroblast-like characteristics and acquire the molecular and phenotypic signature of hypertrophic chondrocytes. This change is characterized by hallmarks of endochondral-like ossification including alterations in collagen matrix, expression of Collagen X, increased apoptosis, and inappropriate ossification of the disc tissue. We show that conversion of the AF cells into chondrocytes is coincident with upregulated TGFβ signaling via Smad2/3 and BMP induced p38 signaling as well as sustained activation of canonical and noncanonical target genes p21 and Ctgf. These findings indicate that FLNB is involved in attenuation of TGFβ/BMP signaling and influences AF cell fate. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the IVD disruptions in Flnb–/–mice resemble aging degenerative discs and reveal new insights into the molecular causes of vertebral fusions and disc degeneration.

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<![CDATA[Del1 Knockout Mice Developed More Severe Osteoarthritis Associated with Increased Susceptibility of Chondrocytes to Apoptosis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dab7ab0ee8fa60bad4d3

Objective

We identified significant expression of the matricellular protein, DEL1, in hypertrophic and mature cartilage during development. We hypothesized that this tissue-specific expression indicated a biological role for DEL1 in cartilage biology.

Methods

Del1 KO and WT mice had cartilage thickness evaluated by histomorphometry. Additional mice underwent medial meniscectomy to induce osteoarthritis, and were assayed at 1 week for apoptosis by TUNEL staining and at 8 weeks for histology and OA scoring. In vitro proliferation and apoptosis assays were performed on primary chondrocytes.

Results

Deletion of the Del1 gene led to decreased amounts of cartilage in the ears and knee joints in mice with otherwise normal skeletal morphology. Destabilization of the knee led to more severe OA compared to controls. In vitro, DEL1 blocked apoptosis in chondrocytes.

Conclusion

Osteoarthritis is among the most prevalent diseases worldwide and increasing in incidence as our population ages. Initiation begins with an injury resulting in the release of inflammatory mediators. Excessive production of inflammatory mediators results in apoptosis of chondrocytes. Because of the limited ability of chondrocytes to regenerate, articular cartilage deteriorates leading to the clinical symptoms including severe pain and decreased mobility. No treatments effectively block the progression of OA. We propose that direct modulation of chondrocyte apoptosis is a key variable in the etiology of OA, and therapies aimed at preventing this important step represent a new class of regenerative medicine targets.

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<![CDATA[Combining Targeted Metabolomic Data with a Model of Glucose Metabolism: Toward Progress in Chondrocyte Mechanotransduction]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9dfab0ee8fa60b68ebb

Osteoarthritis is a debilitating disease likely involving altered metabolism of the chondrocytes in articular cartilage. Chondrocytes can respond metabolically to mechanical loads via cellular mechanotransduction, and metabolic changes are significant because they produce the precursors to the tissue matrix necessary for cartilage health. However, a comprehensive understanding of how energy metabolism changes with loading remains elusive. To improve our understanding of chondrocyte mechanotransduction, we developed a computational model to calculate the rate of reactions (i.e. flux) across multiple components of central energy metabolism based on experimental data. We calculated average reaction flux profiles of central metabolism for SW1353 human chondrocytes subjected to dynamic compression for 30 minutes. The profiles were obtained solving a bounded variable linear least squares problem, representing the stoichiometry of human central energy metabolism. Compression synchronized chondrocyte energy metabolism. These data are consistent with dynamic compression inducing early time changes in central energy metabolism geared towards more active protein synthesis. Furthermore, this analysis demonstrates the utility of combining targeted metabolomic data with a computational model to enable rapid analysis of cellular energy utilization.

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<![CDATA[Systems Based Study of the Therapeutic Potential of Small Charged Molecules for the Inhibition of IL-1 Mediated Cartilage Degradation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dac5ab0ee8fa60bb2564

Inflammatory cytokines are key drivers of cartilage degradation in post-traumatic osteoarthritis. Cartilage degradation mediated by these inflammatory cytokines has been extensively investigated using in vitro experimental systems. Based on one such study, we have developed a computational model to quantitatively assess the impact of charged small molecules intended to inhibit IL-1 mediated cartilage degradation. We primarily focus on the simplest possible computational model of small molecular interaction with the IL-1 system—direct binding of the small molecule to the active site on the IL-1 molecule itself. We first use the model to explore the uptake and release kinetics of the small molecule inhibitor by cartilage tissue. Our results show that negatively charged small molecules are excluded from the negatively charged cartilage tissue and have uptake kinetics in the order of hours. In contrast, the positively charged small molecules are drawn into the cartilage with uptake and release timescales ranging from hours to days. Using our calibrated computational model, we subsequently explore the effect of small molecule charge and binding constant on the rate of cartilage degradation. The results from this analysis indicate that the small molecules are most effective in inhibiting cartilage degradation if they are either positively charged and/or bind strongly to IL-1α, or both. Furthermore, our results showed that the cartilage structural homeostasis can be restored by the small molecule if administered within six days following initial tissue exposure to IL-1α. We finally extended the scope of the computational model by simulating the competitive inhibition of cartilage degradation by the small molecule. Results from this model show that small molecules are more efficient in inhibiting cartilage degradation by binding directly to IL-1α rather than binding to IL-1α receptors. The results from this study can be used as a template for the design and development of more pharmacologically effective osteoarthritis drugs, and to investigate possible therapeutic options.

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<![CDATA[TUFT1, a novel candidate gene for metatarsophalangeal osteoarthritis, plays a role in chondrogenesis on a calcium-related pathway]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db53ab0ee8fa60bdccde

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common degenerative joint disorder and genetic factors have been shown to have a significant role in its etiology. The first metatarsophalangeal joint (MTP I) is highly susceptible to development of OA due to repetitive mechanical stress during walking. We used whole exome sequencing to study genetic defect(s) predisposing to familial early-onset bilateral MTP I OA inherited in an autosomal dominant manner. A nonsynonymous single nucleotide variant rs41310883 (c.524C>T, p.Thr175Met) in TUFT1 gene was found to co-segregate perfectly with MTP I OA. The role of TUFT1 and the relevance of the identified variant in pathogenesis of MTP I OA were further assessed using functional in vitro analyses. The variant reduced TUFT1 mRNA and tuftelin protein expression in HEK293 cells. ATDC5 cells overexpressing wild type (wt) or mutant TUFT1 were cultured in calcifying conditions and chondrogenic differentiation was found to be inhibited in both cell populations, as indicated by decreased marker gene expression when compared with the empty vector control cells. Also, the formation of cartilage nodules was diminished in both TUFT1 overexpressing ATDC5 cell populations. At the end of the culturing period the calcium content of the extracellular matrix was significantly increased in cells overexpressing mutant TUFT1 compared to cells overexpressing wt TUFT1 and control cells, while the proteoglycan content was reduced. These data imply that overexpression of TUFT1 in ATDC5 inhibits chondrogenic differentiation, and the identified variant may contribute to the pathogenesis of OA by increasing calcification and reducing amount of proteoglycans in the articular cartilage extracellular matrix thus making cartilage susceptible for degeneration and osteophyte formation.

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<![CDATA[Extracellular and Intracellular Mechanisms of Mechanotransduction in Three-Dimensionally Embedded Rat Chondrocytes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db0dab0ee8fa60bcaf91

Purpose

Articular cartilage homeostasis involves modulation of chondrocyte matrix synthesis in response to mechanical stress (MS). We studied extracellular and intracellular mechanotransduction pathways mediating this response.

Methods

We first confirmed rapid up-regulation of the putative chondro-protective cytokine, interleukin (IL)-4, as an immediate response to MS. We then studied the role of IL-4 by investigating responses to exogenous IL-4 or a specific IL-4 inhibitor, combined with MS. Next we investigated the intracellular second messengers. Since chondrocyte phenotype alters according to the extracellular environment, we characterized the response to mechanotransduction in 3-dimensionally embedded chondrocytes.

Results

Expression of aggrecan and type II collagen was significantly up-regulated by exogenous IL-4 whereas MS-induced matrix synthesis was inhibited by an IL-4 blocker. Further, MS-induced matrix synthesis was completely blocked by a p38 MAPK inhibitor, while it was only partially blocked by inhibitors of other putative second messengers.

Conclusion

IL-4 mediates an extracellular pathway of mechanotransduction, perhaps via an autocrine/paracrine loop, while p38 mediates an intracellular pathway prevalent only in a 3-dimensional environment.

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