skip to main content

Title: Chemically modified curcumin (CMC2.24) alleviates osteoarthritis progression by restoring cartilage homeostasis and inhibiting chondrocyte apoptosis via the NF-κB/HIF-2α axis
Disorders of cartilage homeostasis and chondrocyte apoptosis are major events in the pathogenesis of osteoarthritis (OA). Herein, we sought to assess the chondroprotective effect and underlying mechanisms of a novel chemically modified curcumin, CMC2.24, in modulating extracellular matrix (ECM) homeostasis and inhibiting chondrocyte apoptosis. Rats underwent the anterior cruciate ligament transection and medial menisci resection were treated by intra-articular injection with CMC2.24. In vitro study, rat chondrocytes were pretreated with CMC2.24 before stimulation with sodium nitroprusside (SNP). The effects of CMC2.24 on cartilage homeostasis and chondrocyte apoptosis were observed. The results from in vivo studies demonstrated that the intra-articular administration of CMC2.24 delayed cartilage degeneration and suppressed chondrocyte apoptosis. CMC2.24 ameliorated osteoarthritic cartilage destruction by promoting collagen 2a1 production and inhibited cartilage degradation and apoptosis by suppressing hypoxia-inducible factor-2a (Hif-2α), matrix metalloproteinase-3 (MMP-3), runt-related transcription factor 2 (RUNX2), cleaved caspase-3, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and the phosphorylation of IκBα and NF-κB p65. The in vitro results revealed that CMC2.24 exhibited a strong inhibitory effect on SNP-induced chondrocyte catabolism and apoptosis. The SNP-enhanced expression of Hif-2α, catabolic and apoptotic factor, decreased after CMC2.24 treatment in a dose-dependent manner. CMC2.24 pretreatment effectively inhibited SNP-induced IκBα and NF-κB p65 phosphorylation in rat more » chondrocytes, whereas the pretreatment with NF-κB antagonist BMS-345541 significantly enhanced the effects of CMC2.24. Taken together, these results demonstrated that CMC2.24 attenuates OA progression by modulating ECM homeostasis and chondrocyte apoptosis via suppression of the NF-κB/Hif-2α axis, thus providing a new perspective for the therapeutic strategy of OA. « less
Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Award ID(s):
1722630
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10188705
Journal Name:
Journal of Molecular Medicine
ISSN:
0946-2716
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Osteoarthritis (OA), a chronic and degenerative joint disease, remains a challenge in treatment due to the lack of disease-modifying therapies. As a promising therapeutic agent, adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs) have an effective anti-inflammatory and chondroprotective paracrine effect that can be enhanced by genetic modification. Unfortunately, direct cell delivery without matrix support often results in poor viability of therapeutic cells. Herein, a hydrogel implant approach that enabled intra-articular delivery of gene-engineered ADSCs was developed for improved therapeutic outcomes in a surgically induced rat OA model. An injectable extracellular matrix (ECM)-mimicking hydrogel was prepared as the carrier for cell delivery, providing amore »favorable microenvironment for ADSC spreading and proliferation. The ECM-mimicking hydrogel could reduce cell death during and post injection. Additionally, ADSCs were genetically modified to overexpress transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1), one of the paracrine factors that exert an anti-inflammatory and pro-anabolic effect. The gene-engineered ADSCs overexpressing TGF-β1 (T-ADSCs) had an enhanced paracrine effect on OA-like chondrocytes, which effectively decreased the expression of tumor necrosis factor-alpha and increased the expression of collagen II and aggrecan. In a surgically induced rat OA model, intra-articular injection of the T-ADSC-loaded hydrogel markedly reduced cartilage degeneration, joint inflammation, and the loss of the subchondral bone. Taken together, this study provides a potential biomaterial strategy for enhanced OA treatment by delivering the gene-engineered ADSCs within an ECM-mimicking hydrogel.« less
  2. To investigate the effects and mechanisms of irisin, a newly discovered myokine, in cartilage development, osteoarthritis (OA) pathophysiology and its therapeutic potential for treating OA we applied the following five strategical analyses using (1) murine joint tissues at different developmental stages; (2) human normal and OA pathological tissue samples; (3) experimental OA mouse model; (4) irisin gene knockout (KO) and knock in (KI) mouse lines and their cartilage cells; (5) in vitro mechanistic experiments. We found that Irisin was involved in all stages of cartilage development. Both human and mouse OA tissues showed a decreased expression of irisin. Intra-articular injectionmore »of irisin attenuated ACLT-induced OA progression. Irisin knockout mice developed severe OA while irisin overexpression in both irisin KI mice and intraarticular injection of irisin protein attenuated OA progression. Irisin inhibited inflammation and promoted anabolism in chondrogenic ADTC5 cells. Proliferative potential of primary chondrocytes from KI mice was found to be enhanced, while KO mice showed an inhibition under normal or inflammatory conditions. The primary chondrocytes from irisin KI mice showed reduced expression of inflammatory factors and the chondrocytes isolated from KO mice showed an opposite pattern. In conclusion, it is the first time to show that irisin is involved in cartilage development and OA pathogenesis. Irisin has the potential to ameliorate OA progression by decreasing cartilage degradation and inhibiting inflammation, which could lead to the development of a novel therapeutic target for treating bone and cartilage disorders including osteoarthritis.« less
  3. Articular cartilage is comprised of two main components, the extracellular matrix (ECM) and the pericellular matrix (PCM). The PCM helps to protect chondrocytes in the cartilage from mechanical loads, but in patients with osteoarthritis, the PCM is weakened, resulting in increased chondrocyte stress. As chondrocytes are responsible for matrix synthesis and maintenance, it is important to understand how mechanical loads affect the cellular responses of chondrocytes. Many studies have examined chondrocyte responses to in vitro mechanical loading by embedding chondrocytes in 3-D hydrogels. However, these experiments are mostly performed in the absence of PCM, which may obscure important responses tomore »mechanotransduction. Here, drop-based microfluidics is used to culture single chondrocytes in alginate microgels for cell-directed PCM synthesis that closely mimics the in vivo microenvironment. Chondrocytes formed PCM over 10 days in these single-cell 3-D microenvironments. Mechanotransduction studies were performed, in which single-cell microgels mimicking the cartilage PCM were embedded in high-stiffness agarose. After physiological dynamic compression in a custom-built bioreactor, microgels exhibited distinct metabolomic profiles from both uncompressed and monolayer controls. These results demonstrate the potential of single cell encapsulation in alginate microgels to advance cartilage tissue engineering and basic chondrocyte mechanobiology.« less
  4. Measuring LTGF-beta activation in live tissues in situ is a major challenge due to the short half-life of activated TGF-beta in cartilage (due to rapid receptor internalization/degradation). As such, activation assessments typically require analysis of downstream events. However, assessments of intracellular TGF-beta signaling molecules (Smad2/3 phosphorylation) yield mostly qualitative measures and reporter cell assays are not compatible with intact cartilage tissues. Alternatively, in the current project, we proposed quantifying LTGF-beta activation in situ through a novel assay that capitalizes on TGF-beta’s robust autoinduction behavior; active TGF-beta activity induces a predictable increase in synthesis of soluble LTGF-beta. The dominant fraction ofmore »newly synthesized LTGF-beta is secreted from the tissue (not retained in ECM) and stable. Accordingly, measurements of LTGF-beta secretion into culture medium allows for quantifications of TGF-beta activity in cartilage. In order to confirm that LTGF-beta secretion enhancements result from TGF-beta activity (and not other load-initiated signaling cascades), a control group can readily be utilized, consisting of TGF-beta activity inhibition from a TGF-beta-receptor specific kinase inhibitor. Using this platform, we performed the first-ever measurement of the activity of TGF-beta in cartilage explants from load-induced activation. Results demonstrate that LTGF-beta secretion rates do indeed increase with cartilage mechanical loading. Upon exposure to a TGF-beta inhibitor, LTGF-beta secretion rates return to basal control levels, thus confirming that LTGF-beta secretion enhancements can be predominantly attributed to TGF-beta activity in the tissue. Upon standard curve conversion, autoinduction assay results demonstrate that mechanical load-induced activation of ECM-bound LTGF-beta gives rise to ~0.15ng/mL of TGF-beta activity in cartilage. Importantly, this measure represents the first quantitative assessment of TGF-beta activity in articular cartilage. While these levels represent the activation of only a small fraction of the total LTGF-beta stores in the cartilage ECM (~300ng/mL), they are indeed capable of giving rise to considerable chondrocyte biosynthesis enhancements in the tissue. As such, these measurements support the mechanobiological role of load-induced LTGF-beta activation in maintaining articular cartilage integrity. The assay platform advanced in this study sets the foundation for considerable advances in our understanding of the mechanistic details and physiologic importance of load-induced LTGF-beta activation in cartilage. In the future, we plan to use this quantitative platform to assess: 1) the influence of varying loading regimens on LTGF-beta activation rates (e.g., physiologic exercise, elevated stresses, high-impact trauma), and 2) changes to load-induced LTGF-beta activation with aging or joint degeneration. An abstract on this work was presented at the 2020 ASME SB3C Conference (virtual meeting) and a full-length manuscript is currently in preparation.« less
  5. Abstract Osteoarthritis (OA), long considered a primary disorder of articular cartilage, is commonly associated with subchondral bone sclerosis. However, the cellular mechanisms responsible for changes to subchondral bone in OA, and the extent to which these changes are drivers of or a secondary reaction to cartilage degeneration, remain unclear. In knee joints from human patients with end-stage OA, we found evidence of profound defects in osteocyte function. Suppression of osteocyte perilacunar/canalicular remodeling (PLR) was most severe in the medial compartment of OA subchondral bone, with lower protease expression, diminished canalicular networks, and disorganized and hypermineralized extracellular matrix. As a stepmore »toward evaluating the causality of PLR suppression in OA, we ablated the PLR enzyme MMP13 in osteocytes while leaving chondrocytic MMP13 intact, using Cre recombinase driven by the 9.6-kb DMP1 promoter. Not only did osteocytic MMP13 deficiency suppress PLR in cortical and subchondral bone, but it also compromised cartilage. Even in the absence of injury, osteocytic MMP13 deficiency was sufficient to reduce cartilage proteoglycan content, change chondrocyte production of collagen II, aggrecan, and MMP13, and increase the incidence of cartilage lesions, consistent with early OA. Thus, in humans and mice, defects in PLR coincide with cartilage defects. Osteocyte-derived MMP13 emerges as a critical regulator of cartilage homeostasis, likely via its effects on PLR. Together, these findings implicate osteocytes in bone-cartilage crosstalk in the joint and suggest a causal role for suppressed perilacunar/canalicular remodeling in osteoarthritis.« less