The prevalence of osteoarthritis (OA) varies between joints. Cartilage in eight different joints was evaluated to elucidate the disparate susceptibilities between joints to post-traumatic OA (PTOA) and provide evidence for joint specific clinical treatments. The hypothesis was that cartilage in different joints would have varying cell death and anabolic gene expression profiles after injury.
Adult equine cartilage explants were harvested from shoulder (SH), elbow (EL), carpal (CA), metacarpophalangeal (MC), patellofemoral (FP), tarsal (TA), metatarsophalangeal (MT), and proximal interphalangeal (PP) joints, and were injured by loading with 30 MPa within 1 second. Fractional dissipated energy, cell density, cell death, and gene expression were quantified.
PP had the highest fractional dissipated energy (94%, 95% confidence interval [CI] 88-101%). Cell density was most dense in superficial zone in all samples, with MC and MT having the highest peak density. Injured samples had significantly higher cell death (13.5%, 95% CI 9.1-17.9%) than non-injured samples (6.8%, 95% CI 2.5-11.1%, p=0.016); however, cell death after injury was not significantly different between joints. Gene expression was significantly different between joints. CD-RAP expression in normal cartilage was lowest in FP (Cp=21, 95% CI -80-122). After injury, the change in CD-RAP expression increased and was highest in FP (147% relative increase after injury, 95% CI 64-213).
Different joints have different baseline characteristics, including cell density and gene expression, and responses to injury, including energy dissipation and gene expression. These unique characteristics may explain differences in OA prevalence and suggest differences in susceptibility to PTOA.
Understanding differences in the response to injury and potential susceptibility of OA can lead to the development of preventative or treatment strategies.
Gene expression, cartilage injury, chondrocyte, multiphoton microscopy, cartilage biomechanical properties.
The prevalence of OA is variable among joints; however, most laboratory studies are performed on a single joint - most commonly the knee and extrapolated to other joints such as the ankle or shoulder. A small number of studies have compared knee and ankle cartilage and reported differences in mechanical properties and gene expression.
There are differences in baseline cell density and gene expression and differences in response to injury, including gene expression and cell death. This suggests that there are inherent differences leading to varying susceptibilities in OA prevalence among joints. Joint-specific treatments may improve OA therapies.
Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.