Genetic and cellular evidence of decreased inflammation associated with reduced incidence of posttraumatic arthritis in MRL/MpJ mice.
ABSTRACT: To examine the relationship between inflammation and posttraumatic arthritis (PTA) in a murine intraarticular fracture model.Male C57BL/6 and MRL/MpJ "superhealer" mice received tibial plateau fractures using a previously established method. Mice were killed on day 0 (within 4 hours of fracture) and days 1, 3, 5, 7, 28, and 56 after fracture. Synovial tissue samples, obtained prior to fracture and on days 0, 1, 3, 5, and 7 after fracture, were examined by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction for gene expression of proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines. Synovial fluid and serum samples were collected to measure cytokine concentrations, using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Whole joints were examined histologically for the extent of synovitis and cartilage degradation, and joint tissue samples from all time points were analyzed immunohistochemically to evaluate the distribution of interleukin-1 (IL-1).Compared to C57BL/6 mice, MRL/MpJ mice had less severe intraarticular and systemic inflammation following joint injury, as evidenced by lower gene expression of tumor necrosis factor ? and IL-1? in the synovial tissue and lower protein levels of IL-1? and IL-1? in the synovial fluid, serum, and joint tissues. Furthermore, after joint injury, MRL/MpJ mice had lower gene expression of macrophage inflammatory proteins and macrophage-derived chemokine (CCL22) in the synovial tissue, and also had reduced acute and late-stage infiltration of synovial macrophages.C57BL/6 mice exhibited higher levels of inflammation than MRL/MpJ mice, indicating that MRL/MpJ mice are protected from PTA in this model. These data thus suggest an association between joint tissue inflammation and the development and progression of PTA in mice.
Project description:Joint injury dramatically enhances the onset of osteoarthritis (OA) and is responsible for an estimated 12% of OA. Posttraumatic arthritis (PTA) is especially common after intra-articular fracture, and no disease-modifying therapies are currently available. We hypothesized that the delivery of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) would prevent PTA by altering the balance of inflammation and regeneration after fracture of the mouse knee. Additionally, we examined the hypothesis that MSCs from the MRL/MpJ (MRL) "superhealer" mouse strain would show increased multilineage and therapeutic potentials as compared to those from C57BL/6 (B6) mice, as MRL mice have shown exceptional in vivo regenerative abilities. A highly purified population of MSCs was prospectively isolated from bone marrow using cell surface markers (CD45-/TER119-/PDGFRα+/Sca-1+). B6 MSCs expanded greater than 100,000-fold in 3 weeks when cultured at 2% oxygen and displayed greater adipogenic, osteogenic, and chondrogenic differentiation as compared to MRL MSCs. Mice receiving only a control saline injection after fracture demonstrated PTA after 8 weeks, but the delivery of 10,000 B6 or MRL MSCs to the joint prevented the development of PTA. Cytokine levels in serum and synovial fluid were affected by treatment with stem cells, including elevated systemic interleukin-10 at several time points. The delivery of MSCs did not reduce the degree of synovial inflammation but did show increased bone volume during repair. This study provides evidence that intra-articular stem cell therapy can prevent the development of PTA after fracture and has implications for possible clinical interventions after joint injury before evidence of significant OA.
Project description:An estimated 12% of patients seeking surgical intervention for symptomatic arthritis have an etiology of post-traumatic arthritis (PTA). The onset of PTA is rapid in the setting of articular fracture (AF). The investigation began with development of a murine model of a closed AF that develops PTA. In the process of characterizing this model a technique was developed for assessing quantitative synovial fluid biomarker concentrations. The work began with observations of the natural history of PTA development in the C57BL/6 strain of mice. A species of mice (MRL/MpJ) was found that is protected from PTA after AF. Further work identified key differences between mouse strains that did and did not develop PTA. This knowledge led to an intervention based on anti-cytokine (interleukin 1 receptor antagonist, (IL-1Ra) delivery in the C57BL/6 strain of mice that successfully prevented PTA following AF. This success in preventing PTA in the murine model has elucidated several important clinical implications: 1) Pro-inflammatory cytokines play an important role in the development of PTA after joint injury, 2) Pharmacologic intervention can lessen the severity of PTA after an AF, and 3) The murine AF model of joint injury provides a novel means of studying mechanisms of PTA development.
Project description:Controversy remains whether articular cartilage has an endogenous stem/progenitor cell population, since its poor healing capacity after injury can lead to diseases such as osteoarthritis. In the joint environment there are mesenchymal stem/progenitor cells (MSCs) in the synovial membrane and synovial fluid that can differentiate into cartilage, but it is still under debate if these cells contribute to cartilage repair in vivo. In this study, we isolated a Sca-1 positive, chondrogenesis capable population of mouse synovial MSCs from C57BL6 and MRL/MpJ "super-healer" strains. Intra-articular injection of Sca-1?+?GFP?+?synovial cells from C57BL6 or MRL/MpJ into C57BL6 mice following cartilage injury led to increased cartilage repair by 4 weeks after injury. GFP expression was detected in the injury site at 2 weeks, but not 4 weeks after injury. These results suggest that synovial stem/progenitor cells, regardless of strain background, have beneficial effects when injected into an injured joint. MSCs derived from MRL/MpJ mice did not promote an increased repair capacity compared to MSCs derived from non-healing C57BL6 controls; however, MRL/MpJ MSCs were observed within the defect area at the time points examined, while C57BL6 MSCs were not.
Project description:Post-traumatic arthritis (PTA) is a progressive, degenerative response to joint injury, such as articular fracture. The pro-inflammatory cytokines, interleukin 1(IL-1) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-?), are acutely elevated following joint injury and remain elevated for prolonged periods post-injury. To investigate the role of local and systemic inflammation in the development of post-traumatic arthritis, we targeted both the initial acute local inflammatory response and a prolonged 4 week systemic inflammatory response by inhibiting IL-1 or TNF-? following articular fracture in the mouse knee.Anti-cytokine agents, IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra) or soluble TNF receptor II (sTNFRII), were administered either locally via an acute intra-articular injection or systemically for a prolonged 4 week period following articular fracture of the knee in C57BL/6 mice. The severity of arthritis was then assessed at 8 weeks post-injury in joint tissues via histology and micro computed tomography, and systemic and local biomarkers were assessed in serum and synovial fluid.Intra-articular inhibition of IL-1 significantly reduced cartilage degeneration, synovial inflammation, and did not alter bone morphology following articular fracture. However, systemic inhibition of IL-1, and local or systemic inhibition of TNF provided no benefit or conversely led to increased arthritic changes in the joint tissues.These results show that intra-articular IL-1, rather than TNF-?, plays a critical role in the acute inflammatory phase of joint injury and can be inhibited locally to reduce post-traumatic arthritis following a closed articular fracture. Targeted local inhibition of IL-1 following joint injury may represent a novel treatment option for PTA.
Project description:Objective: MRL/MpJ mice are known for enhanced healing, but mechanistic details or how specific aspects of wounding (e.g., angiogenesis) contribute to healing are unknown. While previous studies investigated the systemic effects of immunity in MRL/MpJ healing, few have focused on tissue-intrinsic effects. Approach: Ex vivo skin biopsies from MRL/MpJ and C57BL/6J mice were cultured in ex vivo conditions that favor endothelial cell growth to compare their angiogenic potential. We localized enhanced angiogenesis quantitative trait loci (QTL) in an F2 intercross. We then performed an expression analysis in cultured skin biopsies from MRL/MpJ and C57BL/6J mice to determine the pathways that are associated with the capacity for differential growth. Results: MRL/MpJ biopsies have a two- to threefold greater growth potential than C57BL/6J mice, supporting the hypothesis that angiogenesis may contribute to enhanced healing in MRL/MpJ skin. We mapped two QTLs that are unique from previously mapped MRL/MpJ wound healing QTLs and detected interactions between wound healing QTLs and loci in this cross. Additionally, we found that pathways previously implicated in MRL/MpJ healing are also enriched in skin biopsies. Innovation: We have developed a novel approach to determine how specific aspects of tissue development contribute to wound healing that will ultimately lead to the discovery of unidentified genes that contribute to enhanced healing. Conclusion: We have shown that, consistent with previous studies following wound closure in MRL/MpJ mice, vessel growth during healing is also influenced by genetic background. Our ongoing work will identify the genetic factors that should be useful biomarkers or as therapeutic targets for enhanced wound healing.
Project description:PURPOSE:Tendon tears are common injuries that heal with scar formation. Interestingly, MRL/MpJ mice heal without scar in several tissues, including tendon. Most hypotheses regarding scarless healing implicate the systemic environment. However, the tissue-specificity of this regenerative response and our previous findings showing regeneration of sub-rupture tendon injuries, which lack an overt systemic response, motivate a tissue-driven hypothesis. Our objective is to investigate the potential of the local tendon environment in driving scarless healing (1) by comparing the systemic response and the healing capacity associated with ear and tendon injuries in MRL/MpJ mice, and (2) by comparing intrinsic healing properties between MRL/MpJ and normal healer C57Bl/6 tendons. METHODS:We examined the systemic inflammatory and local structural environments of ear and tendon punch injuries in MRL/MpJ and C57Bl/6 mice. Systemic differences were analyzed to assess effects of different injuries on the inflammatory response. Correlations were assessed between MRL/MpJ ear and tendon injuries to compare the extent of healing between regenerative tissues. RESULTS:Analysis showed similarities between the systemic environment in MRL/MpJ post ear or tendon injuries. However, comparable inflammatory responses did not translate into analogous healing between tissues, suggesting that the systemic environment is not the driver of regeneration. Supporting the regenerative role of the local environment, healing MRL/MpJ tendons exhibited improved matrix and cell alignment and a distinct composition of growth factors and Hyaluronan from C57Bl/6. CONCLUSION:These findings support the tissue-driven hypothesis for MRL/MpJ tendon regeneration and motivate further investigation regarding specific roles of extracellular factors in scarless healing.
Project description:Although the mouse strain Murphy Roths Large (MRL/MpJ) possesses high regenerative potential, the mechanism of tissue regeneration, including skeletal muscle, in MRL/MpJ mice after injury is still unclear. Our previous studies have shown that muscle-derived stem/progenitor cell (MDSPC) function is significantly enhanced in MRL/MpJ mice when compared with MDSPCs isolated from age-matched wild-type (WT) mice. Using mass spectrometry-based proteomic analysis, we identified increased expression of hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) 1? target genes (expression of glycolytic factors and antioxidants) in sera from MRL/MpJ mice compared with WT mice. Therefore, we hypothesized that HIF-1? promotes the high muscle healing capacity of MRL/MpJ mice by increasing the potency of MDSPCs. We demonstrated that treating MRL/MpJ MDSPCs with dimethyloxalylglycine and CoCl2 increased the expression of HIF-1? and target genes, including angiogenic and cell survival genes. We also observed that HIF-1? activated the expression of paired box (Pax)7 through direct interaction with the Pax7 promoter. Furthermore, we also observed a higher myogenic potential of MDSPCs derived from prolyl hydroxylase (Phd) 3-knockout (Phd3-/-) mice, which displayed higher stability of HIF-1?. Taken together, our findings suggest that HIF-1? is a major determinant in the increased MDSPC function of MRL/MpJ mice through enhancement of cell survival, proliferation, and myogenic differentiation.-Sinha, K. M., Tseng, C., Guo, P., Lu, A., Pan, H., Gao, X., Andrews, R., Eltzschig, H., Huard, J. Hypoxia-inducible factor 1? (HIF-1?) is a major determinant in the enhanced function of muscle-derived progenitors from MRL/MpJ mice.
Project description:The "super-healing" Murphy Roths Large (MRL/MpJ) mouse possesses a superior regenerative capacity for repair of many tissues, which makes it an excellent animal model for studying molecular and cellular mechanisms during tissue regeneration. As the role of muscle progenitor cells (MPCs) in muscle-healing capacity of MRL/MpJ mice has not been previously studied, we investigated the muscle regenerative capacity of MRL/MpJ mice following muscle injury, and the results were compared to results from C57BL/6J (B6) age-matched control mice. Our results show that muscle healing upon cardiotoxin injury was accelerated in MRL/MpJ mice and characterized by reduced necrotic muscle area, reduced macrophage infiltration, and more regenerated myofibers (embryonic myosin heavy chain+/centronucleated fibers) at 3, 5, and 12 days postinjury, when compared to B6 age-matched control mice. These observations were associated with enhanced function of MPCs, including improved cell proliferation, differentiation, and resistance to stress, as well as increased muscle regenerative potential when compared to B6 MPCs. Mass spectrometry of serum proteins revealed higher levels of circulating antioxidants in MRL/MpJ mice when compared to B6 mice. Indeed, we found relatively higher gene expression of superoxide dismutase 1 (Sod1) and catalase (Cat) in MRL/MpJ MPCs. Depletion of Sod1 or Cat by small interfering RNA impaired myogenic potential of MRL/MpJ MPCs, indicating a role for these antioxidants in muscle repair. Taken together, these findings provide evidence that improved function of MPCs and higher levels of circulating antioxidants play important roles in accelerating muscle-healing capacity of MRL/MpJ mice. Stem Cells 2019;37:357-367.
Project description:Adult MRL/MpJ mice have been shown to possess unique regeneration capabilities. They are able to heal an ear-punched hole or an injured heart with normal tissue architecture and without scar formation. Here we present functional and histological evidence for enhanced recovery following spinal cord injury (SCI) in MRL/MpJ mice. A control group (C57BL/6 mice) and MRL/MpJ mice underwent a dorsal hemisection at T9 (thoracic vertebra 9). Our data show that MRL/MpJ mice recovered motor function significantly faster and more completely. We observed enhanced regeneration of the corticospinal tract (CST). Furthermore, we observed a reduced astrocytic response and fewer micro-cavities at the injury site, which appear to create a more growth-permissive environment for the injured axons. Our data suggest that the reduced astrocytic response is in part due to a lower lesion-induced increase of cell proliferation post-SCI, and a reduced astrocytic differentiation of the proliferating cells. Interestingly, we also found an increased number of proliferating microglia, which could be involved in the MRL/MpJ spinal cord repair mechanisms. Finally, to evaluate the molecular basis of faster spinal cord repair, we examined the difference in gene expression changes in MRL/MpJ and C57BL/6 mice after SCI. Our microarray data support our histological findings and reveal a transcriptional profile associated with a more efficient spinal cord repair in MRL/MpJ mice.
Project description:Post-traumatic arthritis (PTA) is a rapidly progressive form of arthritis that develops due to joint injury, including articular fracture. Current treatments are limited to surgical restoration and stabilization of the joint; however, evidence suggests that PTA progression is mediated by the upregulation of pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as interleukin-1 (IL-1) or tumor necrosis factor-? (TNF-?). Although these cytokines provide potential therapeutic targets for PTA, intra-articular injections of anti-cytokine therapies have proven difficult due to rapid clearance from the joint space. In this study, we examined the ability of a cross-linked elastin-like polypeptide (xELP) drug depot to provide sustained intra-articular delivery of IL-1 and TNF-? inhibitors as a beneficial therapy. Mice sustained a closed intra-articular tibial plateau fracture; treatment groups received a single intra-articular injection of drug encapsulated in xELP. Arthritic changes were assessed 4 and 8 weeks after fracture. Inhibition of IL-1 significantly reduced the severity of cartilage degeneration and synovitis. Inhibition of TNF-? alone or with IL-1 led to deleterious effects in bone morphology, articular cartilage degeneration, and synovitis. These findings suggest that IL-1 plays a critical role in the pathogenesis of PTA following articular fracture, and sustained intra-articular cytokine inhibition may provide a therapeutic approach for reducing or preventing joint degeneration following trauma.