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Special Issue "Apoptotic Chondrocytes and Osteoarthritis"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Biochemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2017).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Charles J. Malemud
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Medicine, CASE School of Medicine, Cleveland, United States
Interests: inflammation; apoptosis, arthritis, chondrocytes, matrix metalloproteinases, signal transduction; pro-inflammatory; anti-inflammatory & amp; anabolic cytokines
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Ali Mobasheri
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Acting Head of the Department of Veterinary Pre-Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Surrey, Guildford GU2 7AL, UK
Tel. +44 (0) 1483 689398; Fax: +44 1483 686736
Interests: cartilage biology; arthritis biomarkers; comparative medicine/comparative physiology; Techniques: quantitative immunohistochemical and immunomorhological techniques; post-genomic techniques including tissue microarray technology, proteomics, metabolomics and bioinformatics
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The loss of chondrocyte vitality is a significant hallmark of the changes that occur in articular cartilage in human osteoarthritis (OA). Theoretically, a population of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) could potentially replace those chondrocytes lost during the OA process, but their presence or absence remains controversial. If these MSCs are eventually confirmed to exist, then provided with the correct growth factors and/or supplements these MSCs could develop into chondrocytes which have been lost in OA. In addition, these MSCs could also be engineered to “resist” apoptosis and behave as authentic articular chondrocytes to replace extracellular matrix proteins degraded and removed from cartilage in OA, as well as to assist damaged articular cartilage to regenerate. Numerous previously published histochemical, biochemical and molecular analyses have indicated that there is an elevated frequency of apoptotic chondrocytes in OA, although to this day these findings also remain controversial. What is known, is that several of the pro-inflammatory cytokines, including TNF-α, IL-1β, as well as some soluble mediators, such as nitric oxide (NO), all of which are present at elevated levels in OA synovial fluid, have the capacity to induce apoptosis in chondrocyte cultures. Importantly, the signal transduction pathways activated by TNF-α, IL-1β and NO which also appears to involve nuclear factor kappaB (NF-κB) activation have also been identified in cultured chondrocytes. Therefore, downstream signaling is very likely to regulate both chondrocyte pro-apoptotic and anti-apoptotic protein gene expression during the OA process. However, the extent to which these signaling pathways can be genetically or chemically modified to prevent or suppress chondrocyte apoptosis in OA remains to be fully elucidated.

Mohamed N. Rahaman
Prof. Dr. Ali Mobasheri
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • articular cartilage
  • apoptosis
  • chondrocytes
  • cytokines
  • osteoarthritis
  • signal transduction
  • soluble mediators

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Published Papers (17 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Friction-Induced Mitochondrial Dysregulation Contributes to Joint Deterioration in Prg4 Knockout Mice
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1252; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18061252 - 11 Jun 2017
Cited by 13
Abstract
Deficiency of PRG4 (lubricin), the boundary lubricant in mammalian joints, contributes to increased joint friction accompanied by superficial and upper intermediate zone chondrocyte caspase-3 activation, as shown in lubricin-null (Prg4−/−) mice. Caspase-3 activity appears to be reversible [...] Read more.
Deficiency of PRG4 (lubricin), the boundary lubricant in mammalian joints, contributes to increased joint friction accompanied by superficial and upper intermediate zone chondrocyte caspase-3 activation, as shown in lubricin-null (Prg4−/−) mice. Caspase-3 activity appears to be reversible upon the restitution of Prg4 either endogenously in vivo, in a gene trap mouse, or as an applied lubricant in vitro. In this study we show that intra-articular injection of human PRG4 in vivo in Prg4−/− mice prevented caspase-3 activation in superficial zone chondrocytes and was associated with a modest decrease in whole joint friction measured ex vivo using a joint pendulum method. Non-lubricated Prg4−/− mouse cartilage shows caspase cascade activation caused by mitochondrial dysregulation, and significantly higher levels of peroxynitrite (ONOO and OH) and superoxide (O2) compared to Prg4+/+ and Prg4+/− cartilage. Enzymatic activity levels of caspase 8 across Prg4 mutant mice were not significantly different, indicating no extrinsic apoptosis pathway activation. Western blots showed caspase-3 and 9 activation in Prg4−/− tissue extracts, and the appearance of nitrosylated Cys163 in the active cleft of caspase-3 which inhibits its enzymatic activity. These findings are relevant to patients at risk for arthrosis, from camptodactyl-arthropathy-coxa vara-pericarditis (CACP) syndrome and transient lubricin insufficiency due to trauma and inflammation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Apoptotic Chondrocytes and Osteoarthritis)
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Open AccessArticle
Influence of Knee Immobilization on Chondrocyte Apoptosis and Histological Features of the Anterior Cruciate Ligament Insertion and Articular Cartilage in Rabbits
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(2), 253; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18020253 - 26 Jan 2017
Cited by 6
Abstract
This study examined the influence of immobilization on chondrocyte apoptosis and histological features of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) insertion and knee articular cartilage in rabbits. Forty-eight male Japanese white rabbits were assigned to an immobilization (n = 24) or sham ( [...] Read more.
This study examined the influence of immobilization on chondrocyte apoptosis and histological features of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) insertion and knee articular cartilage in rabbits. Forty-eight male Japanese white rabbits were assigned to an immobilization (n = 24) or sham (n = 24) group. Rabbits in the immobilization group underwent complete unilateral surgical knee immobilization and rabbits in the sham group underwent a sham surgery. The average thickness of the glycosaminoglycan (GAG) stained red area by safranin O staining, the chondrocyte apoptosis rate and the chondrocyte proliferation rate in the cartilage layer in the ACL insertion and the articular cartilage of the medial tibial condyle were measured at one, two, four and eight weeks in six animals from each group. In the ACL insertion, the chondrocyte apoptosis rate was higher in the immobilization group than in the sham group at two and eight weeks after surgery (p < 0.05). The chondrocyte proliferation rate gradually decreased from two weeks to eight weeks in the immobilization group. The GAG layer was thinner in the immobilization group than in the sham group at two, four and eight weeks after surgery (p < 0.05). In the articular cartilage, the chondrocyte apoptosis rate in the immobilization group was higher than in the sham group at four and eight weeks after surgery (p < 0.05). The GAG layer was significantly thinner in the immobilization group than that in the sham group at four and eight weeks after surgery (p < 0.05). Knee immobilization significantly increased chondrocyte apoptosis at two and eight weeks after surgery in the ACL insertion and at four and eight weeks after surgery in the articular cartilage of the medial tibial condyle, and decreased GAG layer thickness from two to eight weeks after surgery in the ACL insertion and from four to eight weeks after surgery in the articular cartilage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Apoptotic Chondrocytes and Osteoarthritis)
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Open AccessArticle
Metabolic Response of Human Osteoarthritic Cartilage to Biochemically Characterized Collagen Hydrolysates
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(1), 207; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18010207 - 20 Jan 2017
Cited by 10
Abstract
The most frequent disease of the locomotor system is osteoarthritis (OA), which, as a chronic joint disease, might benefit more from nutrition than acute illnesses. Collagen hydrolysates (CHs) are peptidic mixtures that are often used as nutraceuticals for OA. Three CHs were characterized [...] Read more.
The most frequent disease of the locomotor system is osteoarthritis (OA), which, as a chronic joint disease, might benefit more from nutrition than acute illnesses. Collagen hydrolysates (CHs) are peptidic mixtures that are often used as nutraceuticals for OA. Three CHs were characterized biochemically and pharmacologically. Our biophysical (MALDI-TOF-MS, NMR, AFM) and fluorescence assays revealed marked differences between CHs of fish (Peptan® F 5000, Peptan® F 2000) and porcine (Mobiforte®) origin with respect to the total number of peptides and common peptides between them. Using a novel dual radiolabeling procedure, no CH modulated collagen biosynthesis in human knee cartilage explants. Peptan® F 2000 enhanced the activities of the aggrecanase ADMATS4 and ADMATS5 in vitro without loss of proteoglycan from cartilage explants; the opposite effect was observed with Mobiforte®. Interleukin (IL)-6, matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-1, -3 and -13 levels were elevated in explants that were treated with Mobiforte® and Peptan® F 5000, but not with Peptan® F 2000. In conclusion, the heterogeneous peptide composition and disparate pharmacological effects between CHs suggest that the effect of a CH preparation cannot be extrapolated to other formulations. Thus, the declaration of a CH as a safe and effective nutraceutical requires a thorough examination of its pleiotropic effects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Apoptotic Chondrocytes and Osteoarthritis)
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Open AccessArticle
Hydrostatic Compress Force Enhances the Viability and Decreases the Apoptosis of Condylar Chondrocytes through Integrin-FAK-ERK/PI3K Pathway
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(11), 1847; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17111847 - 07 Nov 2016
Cited by 5
Abstract
Reduced mechanical stimuli in many pathological cases, such as hemimastication and limited masticatory movements, can significantly affect the metabolic activity of mandibular condylar chondrocytes and the growth of mandibles. However, the molecular mechanisms for these phenomena remain unclear. In this study, we hypothesized [...] Read more.
Reduced mechanical stimuli in many pathological cases, such as hemimastication and limited masticatory movements, can significantly affect the metabolic activity of mandibular condylar chondrocytes and the growth of mandibles. However, the molecular mechanisms for these phenomena remain unclear. In this study, we hypothesized that integrin-focal adhesion kinase (FAK)-ERK (extracellular signal–regulated kinase)/PI3K (phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase) signaling pathway mediated the cellular response of condylar chondrocytes to mechanical loading. Primary condylar chondrocytes were exposed to hydrostatic compressive forces (HCFs) of different magnitudes (0, 50, 100, 150, 200, and 250 kPa) for 2 h. We measured the viability, morphology, and apoptosis of the chondrocytes with different treatments as well as the gene, protein expression, and phosphorylation of mechanosensitivity-related molecules, such as integrin α2, integrin α5, integrin β1, FAK, ERK, and PI3K. HCFs could significantly increase the viability and surface area of condylar chondrocytes and decrease their apoptosis in a dose-dependent manner. HCF of 250 kPa resulted in a 1.51 ± 0.02-fold increase of cell viability and reduced the ratio of apoptotic cells from 18.10% ± 0.56% to 7.30% ± 1.43%. HCFs could significantly enhance the mRNA and protein expression of integrin α2, integrin α5, and integrin β1 in a dose-dependent manner, but not ERK1, ERK2, or PI3K. Instead, HCF could significantly increase phosphorylation levels of FAK, ERK1/2, and PI3K in a dose-dependent manner. Cilengitide, the potent integrin inhibitor, could dose-dependently block such effects of HCFs. HCFs enhances the viability and decreases the apoptosis of condylar chondrocytes through the integrin-FAK-ERK/PI3K pathway. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Apoptotic Chondrocytes and Osteoarthritis)
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Open AccessArticle
Mechanical and IL-1β Responsive miR-365 Contributes to Osteoarthritis Development by Targeting Histone Deacetylase 4
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(4), 436; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17040436 - 23 Mar 2016
Cited by 37
Abstract
Mechanical stress plays an important role in the initiation and progression of osteoarthritis. Studies show that excessive mechanical stress can directly damage the cartilage extracellular matrix and shift the balance in chondrocytes to favor catabolic activity over anabolism. However, the underlying mechanism remains [...] Read more.
Mechanical stress plays an important role in the initiation and progression of osteoarthritis. Studies show that excessive mechanical stress can directly damage the cartilage extracellular matrix and shift the balance in chondrocytes to favor catabolic activity over anabolism. However, the underlying mechanism remains unknown. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are emerging as important regulators in osteoarthritis pathogenesis. We have found that mechanical loading up-regulated microRNA miR-365 in growth plate chondrocytes, which promotes chondrocyte differentiation. Here, we explored the role of the mechanical responsive microRNA miR-365 in pathogenesis of osteoarthritis (OA). We found that miR-365 was up-regulated by cyclic loading and IL-1β stimulation in articular chondrocytes through a mechanism that involved the transcription factor NF-κB. miR-365 expressed significant higher level in rat anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) surgery induced OA cartilage as well as human OA cartilage from primary OA patients and traumatic OA Patients. Overexpression of miR-365 in chondrocytes increases gene expression of matrix degrading enzyme matrix metallopeptidase 13 (MMP13) and collagen type X (Col X). The increase in miR-365 expression in OA cartilage and in response to IL-1 may contribute to the abnormal gene expression pattern characteristic of OA. Inhibition of miR-365 down-regulated IL-1β induced MMP13 and Col X gene expression. We further showed histone deacetylase 4 (HDAC4) is a direct target of miR-365, which mediates mechanical stress and inflammation in OA pathogenesis. Thus, miR-365 is a critical regulator of mechanical stress and pro-inflammatory responses, which contributes cartilage catabolism. Manipulation of the expression of miR-365 in articular chondrocytes by miR-365 inhibitor may be a potent therapeutic target for the prevention and treatment of osteoarthritis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Apoptotic Chondrocytes and Osteoarthritis)
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Open AccessArticle
Biological and Chemical Removal of Primary Cilia Affects Mechanical Activation of Chondrogenesis Markers in Chondroprogenitors and Hypertrophic Chondrocytes
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(2), 188; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17020188 - 04 Feb 2016
Cited by 12
Abstract
Chondroprogenitors and hypertrophic chondrocytes, which are the first and last stages of the chondrocyte differentiation process, respectively, are sensitive to mechanical signals. We hypothesize that the mechanical sensitivity of these cells depends on the cell surface primary cilia. To test this hypothesis, we [...] Read more.
Chondroprogenitors and hypertrophic chondrocytes, which are the first and last stages of the chondrocyte differentiation process, respectively, are sensitive to mechanical signals. We hypothesize that the mechanical sensitivity of these cells depends on the cell surface primary cilia. To test this hypothesis, we removed the primary cilia by biological means with transfection with intraflagellar transport protein 88 (IFT88) siRNA or by chemical means with chloral hydrate treatment. Transfection of IFT88 siRNA significantly reduced the percentage of ciliated cells in both chondroprogenitor ATDC5 cells as well as primary hypertrophic chondrocytes. Cyclic loading (1 Hz, 10% matrix deformation) of ATDC5 cells in three-dimensional (3D) culture stimulates the mRNA levels of chondrogenesis marker Type II collagen (Col II), hypertrophic chondrocyte marker Type X collagen (Col X), and a molecular regulator of chondrogenesis and chondrocyte hypertrophy bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP-2). The reduction of ciliated chondroprogenitors abolishes mechanical stimulation of Col II, Col X, and BMP-2. In contrast, cyclic loading stimulates Col X mRNA levels in hypertrophic chondrocytes, but not those of Col II and BMP-2. Both biological and chemical reduction of ciliated hypertrophic chondrocytes reduced but failed to abolish mechanical stimulation of Col X mRNA levels. Thus, primary cilia play a major role in mechanical stimulation of chondrogenesis and chondrocyte hypertrophy in chondroprogenitor cells and at least a partial role in hypertrophic chondrocytes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Apoptotic Chondrocytes and Osteoarthritis)
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Open AccessArticle
Monosodium Urate Crystal-Induced Chondrocyte Death via Autophagic Process
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(12), 29265-29277; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms161226164 - 08 Dec 2015
Cited by 12
Abstract
Monosodium urate (MSU) crystals, which are highly precipitated in the joint cartilage, increase the production of cartilage-degrading enzymes and pro-inflammatory mediators in cartilage, thereby leading to gouty inflammation and joint damage. In this study, we investigated the effect of MSU crystals on the [...] Read more.
Monosodium urate (MSU) crystals, which are highly precipitated in the joint cartilage, increase the production of cartilage-degrading enzymes and pro-inflammatory mediators in cartilage, thereby leading to gouty inflammation and joint damage. In this study, we investigated the effect of MSU crystals on the viability of human articular chondrocytes and the mechanism of MSU crystal-induced chondrocyte death. MSU crystals significantly decreased the viability of primary chondrocytes in a time- and dose-dependent manner. DNA fragmentation was observed in a culture medium of MSU crystal-treated chondrocytes, but not in cell lysates. MSU crystals did not activate caspase-3, a marker of apoptosis, compared with actinomycin D and TNF-α-treated cells. MSU crystals did not directly affect the expression of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress markers at the mRNA and protein levels. However, MSU crystals significantly increased the LC3-II level in a time-dependent manner, indicating autophagy activation. Moreover, MSU crystal-induced autophagy and subsequent chondrocyte death were significantly inhibited by 3-methyladenine, a blocker of autophagosomes formation. MSU crystals activated autophagy via inhibition of phosporylation of the Akt/mTOR signaling pathway. These results demonstrate that MSU crystals may cause the death of chondrocytes through the activation of the autophagic process rather than apoptosis or ER stress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Apoptotic Chondrocytes and Osteoarthritis)
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Open AccessArticle
Changes in Ultrastructure and Cytoskeletal Aspects of Human Normal and Osteoarthritic Chondrocytes Exposed to Interleukin-1β and Cyclical Hydrostatic Pressure
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(11), 26019-26034; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms161125936 - 30 Oct 2015
Cited by 15
Abstract
The aim of this study was to examine the ultrastructure and cytoskeletal organization in human normal and Osteoarhritic (OA) chondrocytes, exposed to interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and cyclic hydrostatic pressure (HP). Morphological examination by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) revealed differences [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to examine the ultrastructure and cytoskeletal organization in human normal and Osteoarhritic (OA) chondrocytes, exposed to interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and cyclic hydrostatic pressure (HP). Morphological examination by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) revealed differences between normal and OA chondrocytes at the nuclear and cytoplasmic level. IL-1β (5 ng/mL) induced a decrease of the number of mitochondria and Golgi bodies and a significant increase on the percentage of cells rich in vacuolization and in marginated chromatin. Cyclical HP (1–5 MPa, 0.25 Hz, for 3 h) did not change the morphology of normal chondrocytes, but had a beneficial effect on OA chondrocytes increasing the number of organelles. Normal and OA cells subjected to IL-1β and HP recovered cytoplasmic ultrastructure. Immunofluorescence (IF) examination of normal chondrocytes showed an actin signal polarized on the apical sides of the cytoplasm, tubulin and vimentin uniformly distributed throughout cytoplasm and vinculin revealed a punctuated pattern under the plasma membrane. In OA chondrocytes, these proteins partially lost their organization. Stimulation with IL-1β caused, in both type of cells, modification in the cytoskeletal organization; HP counteracted the negative effects of IL-1β. Our results showed structural differences at nuclear, cytoplasmic and cytoskeletal level between normal and OA chondrocytes. IL-1β induced ultrastructural and cytoskeletal modifications, counteracted by a cyclical low HP. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Apoptotic Chondrocytes and Osteoarthritis)
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Open AccessArticle
Plasma-Derived Fibronectin Stimulates Chondrogenic Differentiation of Human Subchondral Cortico-Spongious Progenitor Cells in Late-Stage Osteoarthritis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(8), 19477-19489; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms160819477 - 18 Aug 2015
Cited by 4
Abstract
Migration and chondrogenesis of human subchondral cortico-spongious progenitor cells (SPCs) are the key steps in the repair of microfracture-induced articular cartilage defects. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of human plasma-derived fibronectin (Fn) on the chondrogenic differentiation of SPCs, [...] Read more.
Migration and chondrogenesis of human subchondral cortico-spongious progenitor cells (SPCs) are the key steps in the repair of microfracture-induced articular cartilage defects. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of human plasma-derived fibronectin (Fn) on the chondrogenic differentiation of SPCs, which was isolated from subchondrol cortico-spongious bone of late-stage osteoarthritis (OA) patients. SPCs were isolated and cultured for three passages. Stem cell surface antigens of SPCs were analyzed by flow cytometry. The osteogenic, chondrogenic and adipogenic differentiation potential were detected by histological staining. The chondrogenesis potential of SPCs with or without stimulation of either Fn or BMP-2 were studied by immunochemical staining and gene expression analysis. Cells isolated from subchondral bone presented to be positive for CD44, CD73, CD90, and CD166, and showed high capacity of osteogenic, adipogenic and chondrogenic differentiation, which suggested this cell population to be MSC-like cells. Stimulating with Fn increased the expression of SOX-9, aggrecan, collagen II while decreased the formation of collagen I by immunochemical staining. Gene expression analysis showed similar results. These results suggest that plasma-derived Fn can increase the chondrogenic differentiation of SPCs isolated from late-stage OA and improve cartilage repair after microfracture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Apoptotic Chondrocytes and Osteoarthritis)
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Open AccessArticle
Ameliorative Effects of PACAP against Cartilage Degeneration. Morphological, Immunohistochemical and Biochemical Evidence from in Vivo and in Vitro Models of Rat Osteoarthritis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(3), 5922-5944; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms16035922 - 13 Mar 2015
Cited by 54
Abstract
Osteoarthritis (OA); the most common form of degenerative joint disease, is associated with variations in pro-inflammatory growth factor levels, inflammation and hypocellularity resulting from chondrocyte apoptosis. Pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP) is a neuropeptide endowed with a range of trophic effects in several [...] Read more.
Osteoarthritis (OA); the most common form of degenerative joint disease, is associated with variations in pro-inflammatory growth factor levels, inflammation and hypocellularity resulting from chondrocyte apoptosis. Pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP) is a neuropeptide endowed with a range of trophic effects in several cell types; including chondrocytes. However; its role in OA has not been studied. To address this issue, we investigated whether PACAP expression is affected in OA cartilage obtained from experimentally-induced OA rat models, and then studied the effects of PACAP in isolated chondrocytes exposed to IL-1β in vitro to mimic the inflammatory milieu of OA cartilage. OA induction was established by histomorphometric and histochemical analyses. Changes in PACAP distribution in cartilage, or its concentration in synovial fluid (SF), were assessed by immunohistochemistry and ELISA. Results showed that PACAP abundance in cartilage tissue and SF was high in healthy controls. OA induction decreased PACAP levels both in affected cartilage and SF. In vitro, PACAP prevented IL-1β-induced chondrocyte apoptosis, as determined by MTT assay; Hoechst staining and western blots of apoptotic-related proteins. These changes were also accompanied by decreased i-NOS and COX-2 levels, suggesting an anti-inflammatory effect. Altogether, these findings support a potential role for PACAP as a chondroprotective agent for the treatment of OA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Apoptotic Chondrocytes and Osteoarthritis)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Peripheral Nerve Fibers and Their Neurotransmitters in Osteoarthritis Pathology
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(5), 931; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18050931 - 28 Apr 2017
Cited by 19
Abstract
The importance of the nociceptive nervous system for maintaining tissue homeostasis has been known for some time, and it has also been suggested that organogenesis and tissue repair are under neuronal control. Changes in peripheral joint innervation are supposed to be partly responsible [...] Read more.
The importance of the nociceptive nervous system for maintaining tissue homeostasis has been known for some time, and it has also been suggested that organogenesis and tissue repair are under neuronal control. Changes in peripheral joint innervation are supposed to be partly responsible for degenerative alterations in joint tissues which contribute to development of osteoarthritis. Various resident cell types of the musculoskeletal system express receptors for sensory and sympathetic neurotransmitters, allowing response to peripheral neuronal stimuli. Among them are mesenchymal stem cells, synovial fibroblasts, bone cells and chondrocytes of different origin, which express distinct subtypes of adrenoceptors (AR), receptors for vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP), substance P (SP) and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP). Some of these cell types synthesize and secrete neuropeptides such as SP, and they are positive for tyrosine-hydroxylase (TH), the rate limiting enzyme for biosynthesis of catecholamines. Sensory and sympathetic neurotransmitters are involved in the pathology of inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA) which manifests mainly in the joints. In addition, they seem to play a role in pathogenesis of priori degenerative joint disorders such as osteoarthritis (OA). Altogether it is evident that sensory and sympathetic neurotransmitters have crucial trophic effects which are critical for joint tissue and bone homeostasis. They modulate articular cartilage, subchondral bone and synovial tissue properties in physiological and pathophysiological conditions, in addition to their classical neurological features. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Apoptotic Chondrocytes and Osteoarthritis)
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Open AccessReview
Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress and Unfolded Protein Response in Cartilage Pathophysiology; Contributing Factors to Apoptosis and Osteoarthritis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(3), 665; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18030665 - 20 Mar 2017
Cited by 24
Abstract
Chondrocytes of the growth plate undergo apoptosis during the process of endochondral ossification, as well as during the progression of osteoarthritis. Although the regulation of this process is not completely understood, alterations in the precisely orchestrated programmed cell death during development can have [...] Read more.
Chondrocytes of the growth plate undergo apoptosis during the process of endochondral ossification, as well as during the progression of osteoarthritis. Although the regulation of this process is not completely understood, alterations in the precisely orchestrated programmed cell death during development can have catastrophic results, as exemplified by several chondrodystrophies which are frequently accompanied by early onset osteoarthritis. Understanding the mechanisms that underlie chondrocyte apoptosis during endochondral ossification in the growth plate has the potential to impact the development of therapeutic applications for chondrodystrophies and associated early onset osteoarthritis. In recent years, several chondrodysplasias and collagenopathies have been recognized as protein-folding diseases that lead to endoplasmic reticulum stress, endoplasmic reticulum associated degradation, and the unfolded protein response. Under conditions of prolonged endoplasmic reticulum stress in which the protein folding load outweighs the folding capacity of the endoplasmic reticulum, cellular dysfunction and death often occur. However, unfolded protein response (UPR) signaling is also required for the normal maturation of chondrocytes and osteoblasts. Understanding how UPR signaling may contribute to cartilage pathophysiology is an essential step toward therapeutic modulation of skeletal disorders that lead to osteoarthritis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Apoptotic Chondrocytes and Osteoarthritis)
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Open AccessReview
Negative Regulators of JAK/STAT Signaling in Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteoarthritis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(3), 484; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18030484 - 24 Feb 2017
Cited by 30
Abstract
Elevated levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines are generally thought to be responsible for driving the progression of synovial joint inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA). These cytokines activate several signal transduction pathways, including the Janus kinase/Signal Transducers and Activators of Transcription (JAK/STAT), [...] Read more.
Elevated levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines are generally thought to be responsible for driving the progression of synovial joint inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA). These cytokines activate several signal transduction pathways, including the Janus kinase/Signal Transducers and Activators of Transcription (JAK/STAT), Stress-Activated/Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase (SAPK/MAPK) and phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase/Akt/mechanistic target of rapamycin (PI3K/Akt/mTOR) pathways which regulate numerous cellular responses. However, cytokine gene expression, matrix metalloproteinase gene expression and aberrant immune cell and synoviocyte survival via reduced apoptosis are most critical in the context of inflammation characteristic of RA and OA. Negative regulation of JAK/STAT signaling is controlled by Suppressor of Cytokine Signaling (SOCS) proteins. SOCS is produced at lower levels in RA and OA. In addition, gaining further insight into the role played in RA and OA pathology by the inhibitors of the apoptosis protein family, cellular inhibitor of apoptosis protein-1, -2 (c-IAP1, c-IAP2), X (cross)-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein (XIAP), protein inhibitor of activated STAT (PIAS), and survivin (human) as well as SOCS appears to be a worthy endeavor going forward. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Apoptotic Chondrocytes and Osteoarthritis)
Open AccessReview
Insights on Molecular Mechanisms of Chondrocytes Death in Osteoarthritis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(12), 2146; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17122146 - 20 Dec 2016
Cited by 49
Abstract
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a joint pathology characterized by progressive cartilage degradation. Medical care is mainly based on alleviating pain symptoms. Compelling studies report the presence of empty lacunae and hypocellularity in cartilage with aging and OA progression, suggesting that chondrocyte cell death occurs [...] Read more.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a joint pathology characterized by progressive cartilage degradation. Medical care is mainly based on alleviating pain symptoms. Compelling studies report the presence of empty lacunae and hypocellularity in cartilage with aging and OA progression, suggesting that chondrocyte cell death occurs and participates to OA development. However, the relative contribution of apoptosis per se in OA pathogenesis appears complex to evaluate. Indeed, depending on technical approaches, OA stages, cartilage layers, animal models, as well as in vivo or in vitro experiments, the percentage of apoptosis and cell death types can vary. Apoptosis, chondroptosis, necrosis, and autophagic cell death are described in this review. The question of cell death causality in OA progression is also addressed, as well as the molecular pathways leading to cell death in response to the following inducers: Fas, Interleukin-1β (IL-1β), Tumor Necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), leptin, nitric oxide (NO) donors, and mechanical stresses. Furthermore, the protective role of autophagy in chondrocytes is highlighted, as well as its decline during OA progression, enhancing chondrocyte cell death; the transition being mainly controlled by HIF-1α/HIF-2α imbalance. Finally, we have considered whether interfering in chondrocyte apoptosis or promoting autophagy could constitute therapeutic strategies to impede OA progression. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Apoptotic Chondrocytes and Osteoarthritis)
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Open AccessReview
Biomarkers of Chondrocyte Apoptosis and Autophagy in Osteoarthritis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(9), 20560-20575; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms160920560 - 31 Aug 2015
Cited by 68
Abstract
Cell death with morphological and molecular features of apoptosis has been detected in osteoarthritic (OA) cartilage, which suggests a key role for chondrocyte death/survival in the pathogenesis of OA. Identification of biomarkers of chondrocyte apoptosis may facilitate the development of novel therapies that [...] Read more.
Cell death with morphological and molecular features of apoptosis has been detected in osteoarthritic (OA) cartilage, which suggests a key role for chondrocyte death/survival in the pathogenesis of OA. Identification of biomarkers of chondrocyte apoptosis may facilitate the development of novel therapies that may eliminate the cause or, at least, slow down the degenerative processes in OA. The aim of this review was to explore the molecular markers and signals that induce chondrocyte apoptosis in OA. A literature search was conducted in PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science and Google Scholar using the keywords chondrocyte death, apoptosis, osteoarthritis, autophagy and biomarker. Several molecules considered to be markers of chondrocyte apoptosis will be discussed in this brief review. Molecular markers and signalling pathways associated with chondroycte apoptosis may turn out to be therapeutic targets in OA and approaches aimed at neutralizing apoptosis-inducing molecules may at least delay the progression of cartilage degeneration in OA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Apoptotic Chondrocytes and Osteoarthritis)
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Open AccessReview
The Regulatory Role of Signaling Crosstalk in Hypertrophy of MSCs and Human Articular Chondrocytes
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(8), 19225-19247; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms160819225 - 14 Aug 2015
Cited by 46
Abstract
Hypertrophic differentiation of chondrocytes is a main barrier in application of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) for cartilage repair. In addition, hypertrophy occurs occasionally in osteoarthritis (OA). Here we provide a comprehensive review on recent literature describing signal pathways in the hypertrophy of MSCs-derived [...] Read more.
Hypertrophic differentiation of chondrocytes is a main barrier in application of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) for cartilage repair. In addition, hypertrophy occurs occasionally in osteoarthritis (OA). Here we provide a comprehensive review on recent literature describing signal pathways in the hypertrophy of MSCs-derived in vitro differentiated chondrocytes and chondrocytes, with an emphasis on the crosstalk between these pathways. Insight into the exact regulation of hypertrophy by the signaling network is necessary for the efficient application of MSCs for articular cartilage repair and for developing novel strategies for curing OA. We focus on articles describing the role of the main signaling pathways in regulating chondrocyte hypertrophy-like changes. Most studies report hypertrophic differentiation in chondrogenesis of MSCs, in both human OA and experimental OA. Chondrocyte hypertrophy is not under the strict control of a single pathway but appears to be regulated by an intricately regulated network of multiple signaling pathways, such as WNT, Bone morphogenetic protein (BMP)/Transforming growth factor-β (TGFβ), Parathyroid hormone-related peptide (PTHrP), Indian hedgehog (IHH), Fibroblast growth factor (FGF), Insulin like growth factor (IGF) and Hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF). This comprehensive review describes how this intricate signaling network influences tissue-engineering applications of MSCs in articular cartilage (AC) repair, and improves understanding of the disease stages and cellular responses within an OA articular joint. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Apoptotic Chondrocytes and Osteoarthritis)
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Open AccessReview
Osteoarthritis in the XXIst Century: Risk Factors and Behaviours that Influence Disease Onset and Progression
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(3), 6093-6112; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms16036093 - 16 Mar 2015
Cited by 94
Abstract
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a growing public health problem across the globe, affecting more than half of the over 65 population. In the past, OA was considered a wear and tear disease, leading to the loss of articular cartilage and joint disability. Nowadays, thanks [...] Read more.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a growing public health problem across the globe, affecting more than half of the over 65 population. In the past, OA was considered a wear and tear disease, leading to the loss of articular cartilage and joint disability. Nowadays, thanks to advancements in molecular biology, OA is believed to be a very complex multifactorial disease. OA is a degenerative disease characterized by “low-grade inflammation” in cartilage and synovium, resulting in the loss of joint structure and progressive deterioration of cartilage. Although the disease can be dependent on genetic and epigenetic factors, sex, ethnicity, and age (cellular senescence, apoptosis and lubricin), it is also associated with obesity and overweight, dietary factors, sedentary lifestyle and sport injuries. The aim of this review is to highlight how certain behaviors, habits and lifestyles may be involved in the onset and progression of OA and to summarize the principal risk factors involved in the development of this complicated joint disorder. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Apoptotic Chondrocytes and Osteoarthritis)
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