PURPOSE: Osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee is a multifactorial degenerative disease typically defined as the 'wear and tear' of articular joint cartilage. However, recent studies suggest that OA is a disease arising from chronic low-grade inflammation. We conducted a study to investigate the relationship between chronic inflammatory mediators present in both the systemic peripheral blood system and localised inflammation in synovial fluid (SF) of OA and non-OA knees; and subsequently made direct comparative analyses to understand the mechanisms that may underpin the processes involved in OA.
METHODS: 20-Plex proteins were quantified using Human Magnetic Luminex® assay (R&D Systems, USA) from plasma and SF of OA (n = 14) and non-OA (n = 14) patients. Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA) software was used to predict the relationship and possible interaction of molecules pertaining to OA.
RESULTS: There were significant differences in plasma level for matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-3, interleukin (IL)-27, IL-8, IL-4, tumour necrosis factor-alpha, MMP-1, IL-15, IL-21, IL-10, and IL-1 beta between the groups, as well as significant differences in SF level for IL-15, IL-8, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), MMP-1, and IL-18. Our predictive OA model demonstrated that toll-like receptor (TLR) 2, macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF), TLR4 and IL-1 were the main regulators of IL-1B, IL-4, IL-8, IL-10, IL-15, IL-21, IL-27, MMP-1 and MMP-3 in the plasma system; whilst IL-1B, TLR4, IL-1, and basigin (BSG) were the regulators of IL-4, IL-8, IL-10, IL-15, IL-18, IL-21, IL-27, MMP-1, and MMP-3 in the SF system.
CONCLUSION: The elevated plasma IL-8 and SF IL-18 may be associated with the pathogenesis of OA via the activation of MMP-3.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.