A Longitudinal Analysis of Urinary Biochemical Markers and Bone Mineral Density in STR/Ort Mice as a Model of Spontaneous Osteoarthritis

Hamamatsu University School of Medicine, Hamamatsu, Japan.
Arthritis & Rheumatology (Impact Factor: 7.76). 02/2010; 62(2):463-71. DOI: 10.1002/art.27202
Source: PubMed


To investigate the longitudinal changes both in the urinary concentrations of biochemical markers and in bone mineral density (BMD) during disease progression in the STR/Ort mouse model of osteoarthritis (OA).
Male STR/Ort mice were studied, with CBA mice used as nonarthritic controls. Radiographic evaluation and grading of the knee and measurements of urinary C-terminal crosslinking telopeptide of type II collagen (CTX-II), pyridinoline (Pyr), and deoxypyridinoline were performed between 8 weeks and 40 weeks of age. The BMD of the femoral shaft was measured from 20 weeks to 40 weeks of age and adjusted for body weight. Histologic evaluation and grading were performed at 40 weeks of age. STR/Ort mice were divided into 2 subgroups (STR OA and STR non-OA) based on histologic grading.
No significant differences between STR/Ort and CBA mice were observed for any biochemical marker or BMD at any time point. Urinary CTX-II levels and BMD in the STR OA subgroup were higher than those in the STR non-OA subgroup before radiographic changes of OA were apparent. Higher urinary Pyr levels in the STR OA subgroup were observed at the advanced stage of OA.
Urinary CTX-II could be a useful marker in the early diagnosis and predicting the progression of OA, and urinary Pyr may be a potential marker to assess the severity of OA at an advanced stage. An increase in BMD prior to the establishment of radiographic OA may be related to the induction of OA.

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    • "In this study, we evaluated the in vivo effect of cartilage-specific overexpression of CCN2 on the maintenance of knee joint cartilage in aging CCN2-transgenic mice. In the knee joints of 12-, 18-, 21-, and 24-month-old WT mice, articular cartilage showed degenerative changes such as proteoglycan loss, surface erosion, enhanced chondrocyte hypertrophy, and enhanced type I collagen expression, all of which are characteristic changes in aging mice [44], [45] and similar to the age-related changes seen in STR/Ort mice [31]. CCN2 overexpression in the articular cartilage under the control of the Col2a1 promoter alleviated these degenerative changes and signs of chondrocyte degeneration 1) by promoting Aggrecan and Col2a1 synthesis, 2) by suppressing synthesis and deposition of markers of chondrocyte hypertrophy (Col10a1), chondrocyte dedifferentiation (Col1a1), and cartilage degradation (Mmp9 and Mmp13), and 3) by promoting chondrocyte proliferation. "
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    ABSTRACT: To examine the role of connective tissue growth factor CCN2/CTGF (CCN2) in the maintenance of the articular cartilaginous phenotype, we analyzed knee joints from aging transgenic mice (TG) overexpressing CCN2 driven by the Col2a1 promoter. Knee joints from 3-, 14-, 40-, and 60-day-old and 5-, 12-, 18-, 21-, and 24-month-old littermates were analyzed. Ccn2-LacZ transgene expression in articular cartilage was followed by X-gal staining until 5 months of age. Overexpression of CCN2 protein was confirmed through all ages in TG articular cartilage and in growth plates. Radiographic analysis of knee joints showed a narrowing joint space and other features of osteoarthritis in 50% of WT, but not in any of the TG mice. Transgenic articular cartilage showed enhanced toluidine blue and safranin-O staining as well as chondrocyte proliferation but reduced staining for type X and I collagen and MMP-13 as compared with those parameters for WT cartilage. Staining for aggrecan neoepitope, a marker of aggrecan degradation in WT articular cartilage, increased at 5 and 12 months, but disappeared at 24 months due to loss of cartilage; whereas it was reduced in TG articular cartilage after 12 months. Expression of cartilage genes and MMPs under cyclic tension stress (CTS) was measured by using primary cultures of chondrocytes obtained from wild-type (WT) rib cartilage and TG or WT epiphyseal cartilage. CTS applied to primary cultures of mock-transfected rib chondrocytes from WT cartilage and WT epiphyseal cartilage induced expression of Col1a1, ColXa1, Mmp-13, and Mmp-9 mRNAs; however, their levels were not affected in CCN2-overexpressing chondrocytes and TG epiphyseal cartilage. In conclusion, cartilage-specific overexpression of CCN2 during the developmental and growth periods reduced age-related changes in articular cartilage. Thus CCN2 may play a role as an anti-aging factor by stabilizing articular cartilage.
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    ABSTRACT: Osteoarthritis is a common joint disease that currently lacks disease-modifying treatments. Development of therapeutic agents for osteoarthritis requires better understanding of the disease and cost-effective in vivo models that mimic the human disease. Here, we analyzed the joints of STR/ort mice, a model for spontaneous osteoarthritis, for levels of inflammatory and oxidative stress markers and measured serum cytokines to characterize the local and systemic inflammatory status of these mice. Markers of low-grade inflammatory and oxidative stress-RAGE, AGE, S100A4, and HMGB1-were evaluated through immunohistochemistry. Of these, AGE and HMGB1 levels were elevated strongly in hyperplastic synovium, cartilage, meniscus, and ligaments in the joints of STR/ort mice compared with CBA mice, an osteoarthritis-resistant mouse strain. These increases (particularly in the synovium, meniscus, and ligaments) correlated with increased histopathologic changes in the cartilage. Serum analysis showed higher concentrations of several cytokines including IL1β, IL12p70, MIP1β, and IL5 in STR/ort mice, and these changes correlated with worsened joint morphology. These results indicate that STR/ort mice exhibited local and systemic proinflammatory conditions, both of which are present in human osteoarthritis. Therefore, the STR/ort mouse model appears to be a clinically relevant and cost-effective small animal model for testing osteoarthritis therapeutics.
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