ABSTRACT: The ability of insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) to stimulate cartilage matrix synthesis is reduced in aged and osteoarthritic cartilage. Aging and osteoarthritis are associated with an increase in reactive oxygen species, which we hypothesized would interfere with normal IGF-I signaling. We compared IGF-I signaling in normal and osteoarthritic human articular chondrocytes and investigated the effects of oxidative stress induced by tert-butylhydroperoxide (tBHP). In normal human chondrocytes, IGF-I initiated a strong and sustained phosphorylation of IRS-1 (Tyr-612) and Akt (Ser-473) and transient ERK phosphorylation. In contrast, in osteoarthritic chondrocytes, which possessed elevated basal IRS-1 (Ser-312) and ERK phosphorylation, IGF-I failed to stimulate IRS-1 (Tyr-612) or Akt phosphorylation. In normal human chondrocytes, tBHP triggered strong IRS-1 (Ser-312 and Ser-616) and ERK phosphorylation and inhibited IGF-I-induced IRS-1 (Tyr-612) and Akt phosphorylation. Lentivirus-mediated overexpression of constitutively active (CA) Akt significantly enhanced proteoglycan synthesis, whereas both dominant negative Akt and CA MEK inhibited proteoglycan synthesis. CA Akt also promoted type II collagen and Sox9 expression, whereas tBHP treatment and CA MEK inhibited aggrecan, collagen II, and Sox9 mRNA expression. In osteoarthritic chondrocytes, the antioxidants Mn(III) tetrakis(4-benzoic acid)porphyrin and N-acetylcysteine increased the ratio of Akt to ERK phosphorylation and promoted IGF-I-mediated proteoglycan synthesis. Chemical inhibition of ERK significantly enhanced IGF-I phosphorylation of Akt and alleviated tBHP inhibition of Akt phosphorylation. These results demonstrate opposing roles for phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-Akt and MEK-ERK in cartilage matrix synthesis and suggest that elevated levels of reactive oxygen species cause chondrocyte IGF-I resistance by altering the balance of Akt to ERK activity.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 09/2009; 284(46):31972-81. · 4.77 Impact Factor