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Study identifies molecular response of cartilage to injury
Date:5/8/2008

Its an unfortunate fact backed by studies of former professional football and soccer players: injury to joint cartilage escalates the risk of developing of osteoarthritis (OA). However, why this occursthe details of how joint cartilage cells respond to acute trauma and how this response leads to progressive cartilage degradationremains open to investigation.

To shed further light on this issue of intense research interest, an international team of rheumatologists and biotechnologists conducted a microarray screening of adult human joint cartilage subjected to injury. Led by Dr. Francesco DellAccio, a Clinician Scientist Fellow of the Arthritis Research Campaign, the team reported in the May issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism (www.interscience.wiley.com/journal/arthritis) the full-genome characterization of the moleculer response of adult human articular cartilage to mechanical injury.

The gene expression profile of cartilage explants 24 hours after mechanical injury was compared to that of uninjured control explants using microarray technology. The explants were obtained either from uninvolved cartilage areas of knees affected by OA or from healthy cartilage from one individual who underwent a limb amputation following a road traffic accident. The expression of selected genes was then confirmed using real time PCR and immunohistochemistry.

In the injured samples, a total of 690 genes were significantly either up- or downregulated at least 2-fold compared with expression in the uninjured samples. Significant clusters included genes associated with cell signaling, wound healing, and skeletal development, as well as genes previously found to be differentially expressed in OA cartilage. Members of the WNT, TGF, and FGF family of signalling molecules were included in the regulated gene list. A targeted analysis of the Wnt signaling pathway in injured cartilage revealed up-reg
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Contact: Sean Wagner
swagner@wiley.com
781-388-8550
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

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