The in vivo pathomechanics of osteoarthritis (OA) at the knee is described in a framework that is based on an analysis of studies describing assays of biomarkers, cartilage morphology, and human function (gait analysis). The framework is divided into an Initiation Phase and a Progression Phase. The Initiation Phase is associated with kinematic changes that shift load bearing to infrequently loaded regions of the cartilage that cannot accommodate the loads. The Progression Phase is defined following cartilage breakdown. During the Progression Phase, the disease progresses more rapidly with increased load. While this framework was developed from an analysis of in vivo pathomechanics, it also explains how the convergence of biological, morphological, and neuromuscular changes to the musculoskeletal system during aging or during menopause lead to the increased rate of idiopathic OA with aging. Understanding the in vivo response of articular cartilage to its physical environment requires an integrated view of the problem that considers functional, anatomical, and biological interactions. The integrated in vivo framework presented here will be helpful for the interpretation of laboratory experiments as well as for the development of new methods for the evaluation of OA at the knee.
This study tests the hypothesis that transcription factor activation by exposure of macrophages to titanium particles can be modulated by the addition of the antiinflammatory cytokine, interleukin 10 (IL-10). The experiments were carried out with primary human monocyte/macrophages that were treated in the presence or absence of IL-10 with and without exposure to titanium particles. The time course for experiments varied from 1 h-5 h for analysis of nuclear protein and up to 48 h for analysis of cytokine release. Transcription factor translocation to the nucleus was analyzed using electrophoretic gel shift assays and cytokine release was quantified by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Addition of titanium particles increased release of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and interleukin-1 beta (IL-1 beta). In addition, titantium particle induced translocation of the transcription factors, NF-kappa B and NF-IL6, in the nucleus within 1 h. Treatment of macrophages with IL-10 prior to exposure to titanium particles decreased translocation of NF-IL6 but did not significantly alter nuclear levels of NF-kappa B. In addition, pretreatment of the cells with IL-10 decreased particle-induced cytokine release. These data show that antiinflammatory cytokines may provide a mechanism by which particle-induced inflammatory response may be modulated in vivo.
Although regeneration of human cartilage is inherently inefficient, age is an important risk factor for osteoarthritis. Recent reports have provided compelling evidence that juvenile chondrocytes (from donors below 13 years of age) are more efficient at generating articular cartilage as compared to adult chondrocytes. However, the molecular basis for such a superior regenerative capability is not understood. To identify the cell-intrinsic differences between juvenile and adult cartilage, we have systematically profiled global gene expression changes between a small cohort of human neonatal/juvenile and adult chondrocytes. No such study is available for human chondrocytes although young and old bovine and equine cartilage have been recently profiled. Our studies have identified and validated new factors enriched in juvenile chondrocytes as compared to adult chondrocytes including secreted extracellular matrix factors chordin-like 1 (CHRDL1) and microfibrillar-associated protein 4 (MFAP4). Network analyses identified cartilage development pathways, epithelial-mesenchymal transition, and innate immunity pathways to be overrepresented in juvenile-enriched genes. Finally, CHRDL1 was observed to aid the proliferation and survival of bone marrow-derived human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSC) while maintaining their stem cell potential. These studies, therefore, provide a mechanism for how young cartilage factors can potentially enhance stem cell function in cartilage repair.
Regeneration of human articular cartilage is inherently limited and extensive efforts have focused on engineering the cartilage tissue. Various cellular sources have been studied for cartilage tissue engineering including adult chondrocytes, as well as embryonic or adult stem cells. Juvenile chondrocytes (from donors below 13 years of age) have recently been reported to be a promising cell source for cartilage regeneration. Previous studies have compared the potential of adult and juvenile chondrocytes or adult and osteoarthritic (OA) chondrocytes. To comprehensively characterize the comparative potential of young, old and diseased chondrocytes, here we examined cartilage formation by juvenile, adult and OA chondrocytes in 3D biomimetic hydrogels composed of poly(ethylene glycol) and chondroitin sulfate. All three human articular chondrocytes were encapsulated in the 3D biomimetic hydrogels and cultured for 3 or 6 weeks to allow maturation and extracellular matrix formation. Outcomes were analyzed using quantitative gene expression, immunofluorescence staining, biochemical assays, and mechanical testing. After 3 and 6 weeks, juvenile chondrocytes showed a greater upregulation of chondrogenic gene expression than adult chondrocytes, while OA chondrocytes showed a downregulation. Aggrecan and type II collagen deposition and GAG accumulation were high for juvenile and adult chondrocytes but not for OA chondrocytes. Similar trend was observed in the compressive moduli of the cartilage constructs generated by the three different chondrocytes. In conclusion, the juvenile, adult and OA chondrocytes showed differential responses in the 3D biomimetic hydrogels. The 3D culture model described here may also provide a useful tool to further study the molecular differences among chondrocytes from different stages, which can help elucidate the mechanisms for age-related decline in the intrinsic capacity for cartilage repair.
PURPOSE: The murine calvarial model has been widely employed for the in vivo study of particle-induced osteolysis, the most frequent cause of aseptic loosening of total joint replacements. Classically, this model uses an open surgical technique in which polyethylene (PE) particles are directly spread over the calvarium for the induction of osteolysis. We evaluated a minimally invasive modification of the calvarial model by using a direct subcutaneous injection of PE particles. METHODS: Polyethylene (PE) particles were injected subcutaneously over the calvaria of C57BL6J ten-week-old mice ("injection" group) or were implanted after surgical exposure of the calvaria ("open" group) (n = 5/group). For each group, five additional mice received no particles and served as controls. Particle-induced osteolysis was evaluated two weeks after the procedure using high-definition microCT imaging. RESULTS: Polyethylene particle injection over the calvaria resulted in a 40 % ± 1.8 % decrease in the bone volume fraction (BVF), compared to controls. Using the "open surgical technique", the BVF decreased by 16 % ± 3.8 % as compared to controls (p
Homeostasis of articular cartilage depends in part on mechanical loads generated during daily activity whereas inappropriate joint loads result in focal degeneration of cartilage, as occurs in osteoarthritis. We will review results of a series of questions regarding the effects of two types of mechanical loads-intermittent hydrostatic pressure and shear stress-on adult human articular chondrocytes in high-density monolayer culture. Intermittent hydrostatic pressure increased aggrecan and Type II collagen gene expression in normal chondrocytes and induced changes in the cell-associated proteins of normal and osteoarthritic chondrocytes. Hydrostatic pressure also counteracted inhibitory effects of bacterial lipopolysaccharide on matrix protein expression by cultured chondrocytes. Application of shear stress to osteoarthritic chondrocytes increased the release of the proinflammatory mediator, nitric oxide, decreased aggrecan and Type II collagen expression, and induced molecular changes associated with apoptosis whereas hydrostatic pressure increased matrix macromolecule expression. The findings show that the types of load comprising the mechanical loading environment of articular cartilage considerably alter chondrocyte metabolism and suggest that mechanical stimulation may be used for in vitro or in vivo approaches for cartilage engineering.
This study examined effects of varying magnitudes of intermittent hydrostatic pressure (IHP) applied for different times on chondrogenesis of adult human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) in vitro. hMSCs were exposed to 0.1, 1, and 10 MPa of IHP at a frequency of 1 Hz for 4 h/day for 3, 7, and 14 days in the presence of transforming growth factor (TGF-beta3). Chondrogenesis was characterized by gene expression, macromolecule production, and extracellular matrix deposition. Exposure of hMSCs to 0.1 MPa of IHP increased SOX9 and aggrecan mRNA expression by 2.2- and 5.6-fold, respectively, whereas type II collagen mRNA expression responded maximally at 10 MPa. Production of sulfated glycosaminoglycan responded to IHP of 1 MPa and 10 MPa, whereas collagen levels increased only at 10 MPa. Morphologically, matrix condensation occurred with increased IHP, concomitant with collagen expression. This study demonstrated that different levels of IHP differentially modulate hMSC chondrogenesis in the presence of TGF-beta3. The data suggest that tissue engineering of articular cartilage through application or recruitment of hMSCs can be facilitated by mechanical stimulation.
This study tested the hypothesis that physiologic tendon loading modulates the fibrous connective tissue phenotype in undifferentiated skeletal cells. Type I collagen sponges containing human bone marrow stromal cells (MSCs) were implanted into the midsubstance of excised sheep patellar tendons. An ex vivo loading system was designed to cyclically stretch each tendon from 0 to 5% at 1.0 Hz. The MSC-sponge constructs were implanted into 2 tendon sites: the first site subjected to tension only and a second site located at an artificially created wrap-around region in which an additional compressive stress was generated transverse to the longitudinal axis of the tendon. The induced contact pressure at the wraparound site was 0.55 +/- 0.12 MPa, as quantified by pressure-sensitive film. An MSC-sponge construct was maintained free swelling in the same bath as an unloaded control. After 2 h of tendon stretching, the MSC-sponge constructs were harvested and real-time PCR was used to quantify Fos, Sox9, Cbfa1 (Runx2), and scleraxis mRNA expression as markers of skeletal differentiation. Two hours of mechanical loading distinctly altered MSC differentiation in the wrap-around region and the tensile-only region, as evidenced by differences in Fos and Sox9 mRNA expression. Expression of Fos mRNA was 13 and 52 times higher in the tensile-only and wrap-around regions, respectively, compared to the free-swelling controls. Expression of Sox9 mRNA was significantly higher (2.5-3 times) in MSCs from the wraparound region compared to those from the tensile-only region or in free-swelling controls. In contrast, expression levels for Cbfa1 did not differ among constructs. Scleraxis mRNA was not detected in any construct. This study demonstrates that the physiologic mechanical environment in the wrap-around regions of tendons provides stimuli for upregulating early response genes and transcription factors associated with chondrogenic differentiation. These differentiation responses begin within as little as 2 h after the onset of mechanical stimulation and may be the basis for the formation of fibrocartilage that is typically found in the wrap-around region of mature tendons in vivo.
The role of continuous passive motion (CPM) in the management of septic arthritis and inflammatory arthritis remains of interest. CPM produces cyclic variations in intraarticular pressure that facilitates transport of fluid, nutrients, and solutes within and/or across the joint and stimulates chondrocyte metabolism. However, the precise mechanisms mediating the responses of chondrocytes to joint motion remain unclear. This study tested the hypothesis that dynamic mechanical loading counteracts effects of bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS), an inflammatory mediator, on chondrocyte metabolism. Intermittent hydrostatic pressure (IHP) (10 MPa for 4 h) was applied to human chondrocytes pretreated with LPS (1 microg/ml for 18 h). LPS activation of chondrocytes decreased mRNA signal levels of type II collagen by 67% and aggrecan by 56% and increased nitric oxide by 3.1-fold, monocyte chemotactic protein-1 mRNA signal levels by 6.5-fold, and matrix metalloproteinase-2 mRNA signal levels by 1.3-fold. Application of IHP to LPS-activated chondrocytes decreased nitric oxide synthase mRNA signal levels and nitric oxide levels in the culture medium. Exposure of LPS-activated chondrocytes to IHP upregulated type II collagen and aggrecan mRNA signal levels by 1.7-fold, relative to chondrocytes activated by LPS and maintained without loading. In addition, application of IHP decreased the upregulation in signal levels of monocyte chemotactic factor-1 and matrix metalloproteinase-2 following LPS activation by 45% and 15%, respectively. These data show that mechanical loading counteract effects of inflammatory agents, such as bacterial LPS, and suggest that postinfection sequelae are influenced by the presence or absence of joint loading.
The murine femoral intramedullary injection model is frequently used to examine the in vivo effects of biomaterials or cancer cells. The surgical technique includes a knee arthrotomy with patellar dislocation for intramedullary access. This study examined a less invasive surgical approach of direct injection of particles via the transpatellar tendon without patellar dislocation. By using polymethylmethacrylate injection and microCT scan, we found that, compared with the traditional technique, this new approach was more reproducible, less time consuming, and achieved identical volumes of intramedullary injections. Animal morbidity and the biomechanics of the joints were also improved as a result of the simplified procedure. Furthermore, our study suggested that an intramedullary volume in excess of 10 microL can lead to major vascular filling and so should be avoided.