METHODS: Primary SFb isolated from knee synovium of OA obese (OA-ob:SFb), OA-pre-obese (OA-Pob:SFb), non-OA arthroscopic (scope:SFb), and non-OA arthroscopic with cartilage damage (scope-CD:SFb) were exposed to OA-conditioned media (OACM), derived from OA obese (OA-ob:CM), OA-pre-obese (OA-Pob:CM), and mechanical stretch at either 0 %, 6 % or 10 % for 24 h. Differences in the mRNA levels of genes involved in extracellular matrix production, inflammation and secretory activity were measured.
RESULTS: Despite the significant BMI differences between the OA-ob and OA-Pob groups, OA-Pob has more patients with underlying dyslipidaemia, and low-grade synovitis with higher levels of secreted proteins, CXCL8, COL4A1, CCL4, SPARC and FGF2 in OA-Pob:CM. All primary SFb exhibited anti-proliferative activity with both OA-CM. Mechanical stretch stimulated lubricin production in scope:SFb, higher TGFβ1 and COL1A1 expressions in scope-CD:SFb. OA-Pob:CM stimulated greater detrimental effects than the OA-ob:CM, with higher pro-inflammatory cytokines, IL1β, IL6, COX2 and proteases such as aggrecanases, ADAMTS4 and ADAMTS5, and lower ECM matrix, COL1A1 expressions in all SFb. OA-ob:SFb were unresponsive but expressed higher pro-inflammatory cytokines under OA-Pob:CM treatment.
CONCLUSION: Both mechanical and inflammatory stressors regulate SFb molecular functions with heterogeneity in responses that are dependent on their pathological tissue of origins. While mechanical stretch promotes a favorable effect with enhanced lubricin production in scope:SFb and TGFβ1 and COL1A1 in scope-CD:SFb, the presence of excessively high OA-associated inflammatory mediators in OA-Pob:CM, predominantly SPARC, CXCL8 and FGF2 drive all SFb regardless of pathology, towards greater pro-inflammatory activities.