ABSTRACT: In OA chondrocytes, there is diminished mitochondrial production of ATP and diminished extracellular adenosine resulting in diminished adenosine A2A receptor (A2AR) stimulation and altered chondrocyte homeostasis which contributes to the pathogenesis of OA. We tested the hypothesis that A2AR stimulation maintains or enhances mitochondrial function in chondrocytes. The effect of A2AR signaling on mitochondrial health and function was determined in primary murine chondrocytes, a human chondrocytic cell line (T/C-28a2), primary human chondrocytes, and a murine model of OA by transmission electron microscopy analysis, mitochondrial stress testing, confocal live imaging for mitochondrial inner membrane polarity, and immunohistochemistry. In primary murine chondrocytes from A2AR-/- null mice, which develop spontaneous OA by 16 weeks, there is mitochondrial swelling, dysfunction, and reduced mitochondrial content with increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) burden and diminished mitophagy, as compared to chondrocytes from WT animals. IL-1-stimulated T/C-28a2 cells treated with an A2AR agonist had reduced ROS burden with increased mitochondrial dynamic stability and function, findings which were recapitulated in primary human chondrocytes. In an obesity-induced OA mouse model, there was a marked increase in mitochondrial oxidized material which was markedly improved after intraarticular injections of liposomal A2AR agonist. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that A2AR ligation is mitoprotective in OA.
Project description:Osteoarthritis (OA) is characterized by cartilage destruction and chondrocytes have a central role in this process. With age and inflammation chondrocytes have reduced capacity to synthesize and maintain ATP, a molecule important for cartilage homeostasis. Here we show that concentrations of ATP and adenosine, its metabolite, fall after treatment of mouse chondrocytes and rat tibia explants with IL-1?, an inflammatory mediator thought to participate in OA pathogenesis. Mice lacking A2A adenosine receptor (A2AR) or ecto-5'nucleotidase (an enzyme that converts extracellular AMP to adenosine) develop spontaneous OA and chondrocytes lacking A2AR develop an 'OA phenotype' with increased expression of Mmp13 and Col10a1. Adenosine replacement by intra-articular injection of liposomal suspensions containing adenosine prevents development of OA in rats. These results support the hypothesis that maintaining extracellular adenosine levels is an important homeostatic mechanism, loss of which contributes to the development of OA; targeting adenosine A2A receptors might treat or prevent OA.
Project description:Osteoarthritis (OA) affects nearly 10% of the population of the United States and other industrialized countries and, at present, short of surgical joint replacement, there is no therapy available that can reverse the progression of the disease. Adenosine, acting at its A2A receptor (A2AR), is a critical autocrine factor for maintenance of cartilage homeostasis and here we report that injection of liposomal suspensions of either adenosine or a selective A2AR agonist, CGS21680, significantly reduced OA cartilage damage in a murine model of obesity-induced OA. The same treatment also improved swelling and preserved cartilage in the affected knees in a rat model of established post-traumatic OA (PTOA). Differential expression analysis of mRNA from chondrocytes harvested from knees of rats with PTOA treated with liposomal A2AR agonist revealed downregulation of genes associated with matrix degradation and upregulation of genes associated with cell proliferation as compared to liposomes alone. Studies in vitro and in affected joints demonstrated that A2AR ligation increased the nuclear P-SMAD2/3/P-SMAD1/5/8 ratio, a change associated with repression of terminal chondrocyte differentiation. These results strongly suggest that targeting the A2AR is an effective approach to treat OA.
Project description:Recently we demonstrated that ablation of the DNA methyltransferase enzyme, Dnmt3b, resulted in catabolism and progression of osteoarthritis (OA) in murine articular cartilage through a mechanism involving increased mitochondrial respiration. In this study, we identify 4-aminobutyrate aminotransferase (Abat) as a downstream target of Dnmt3b. Abat is an enzyme that metabolizes ?-aminobutyric acid to succinate, a key intermediate in the tricarboxylic acid cycle. We show that Dnmt3b binds to the Abat promoter, increases methylation of a conserved CpG sequence just upstream of the transcriptional start site, and inhibits Abat expression. Dnmt3b deletion in articular chondrocytes results in reduced methylation of the CpG sequence in the Abat promoter, which subsequently increases expression of Abat. Increased Abat expression in chondrocytes leads to enhanced mitochondrial respiration and elevated expression of catabolic genes. Overexpression of Abat in murine knee joints via lentiviral injection results in accelerated cartilage degradation following surgical induction of OA. In contrast, lentiviral-based knockdown of Abat attenuates the expression of IL-1?-induced catabolic genes in primary murine articular chondrocytes in vitro and also protects against murine articular cartilage degradation in vivo. Strikingly, treatment with the FDA-approved small-molecule Abat inhibitor, vigabatrin, significantly prevents the development of injury-induced OA in mice. In summary, these studies establish Abat as an important new target for therapies to prevent OA.
Project description:Excessive mechanical loading of articular cartilage producing hydrostatic stress, tensile strain and fluid flow leads to irreversible cartilage erosion and osteoarthritic (OA) disease. Since application of high fluid shear to chondrocytes recapitulates some of the earmarks of OA, we aimed to screen the gene expression profiles of shear-activated chondrocytes and assess potential similarities with OA chondrocytes.Using a cDNA microarray technology, we screened the differentially-regulated genes in human T/C-28a2 chondrocytes subjected to high fluid shear (20 dyn/cm(2)) for 48 h and 72 h relative to static controls. Confirmation of the expression patterns of select genes was obtained by qRT-PCR. Using significance analysis of microarrays with a 5% false discovery rate, 71 and 60 non-redundant transcripts were identified to be ?2-fold up-regulated and ?0.6-fold down-regulated, respectively, in sheared chondrocytes. Published data sets indicate that 42 of these genes, which are related to extracellular matrix/degradation, cell proliferation/differentiation, inflammation and cell survival/death, are differentially-regulated in OA chondrocytes. In view of the pivotal role of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) in the pathogenesis and/or progression of OA in vivo and regulation of shear-induced inflammation and apoptosis in vitro, we identified a collection of genes that are either up- or down-regulated by shear-induced COX-2. COX-2 and L-prostaglandin D synthase (L-PGDS) induce reactive oxygen species production, and negatively regulate genes of the histone and cell cycle families, which may play a critical role in chondrocyte death.Prolonged application of high fluid shear stress to chondrocytes recapitulates gene expression profiles associated with osteoarthritis. Our data suggest a potential link between exposure of chondrocytes/cartilage to abnormal mechanical loading and the pathogenesis/progression of OA.
Project description:Agonist binding to extracellular A2A adenosine receptors (A2ARs) inhibits the activation of virtually all tested functions of T-cells and can induce apoptosis in thymocytes. The evaluation of levels of expression of these immunosuppressive receptors is expected to clarify whether the absence of spare A2ARs (no 'receptor reserve') might be one of the mechanisms of attenuation of the effects of extracellular adenosine on T-cells. A2A transcript is found in T-cells and functional receptors can be demonstrated, but the density of receptor on T-cells is too low to be detected by radioligand binding. Studies of direct radioligand binding to murine brain with the selective A2AR agonist [3H]CGS21680 (2-(4-[(2-carboxyethyl)-phenyl]ethylamino)-5'-N-ethylcarboxamidoadenosine) established that striata levels of A2AR are virtually absent from A2A knock-out mice. Mice that are heterozygous (A2AR+/-) for the A2AR express significantly decreased levels of A2AR. To test for the presence of spare receptors in T-cells we took advantage of this gene dose effect and examined whether the decrease in the number of receptors in thymocytes from A2AR+/- mice was proportionately reflected in a decrease in the functional cAMP response of T-cells to adenosine. cAMP accumulation and apoptosis induced by adenosine and by A2AR agonist are of a lower magnitude in T-cells from A2AR+/- heterozygous mice than in T-cells from A2AR+/+ littermate control mice. These results indicate that there is no A2AR reserve in murine T-cells. Strongly decreased adenosine-triggered cAMP increases were detected in thymocytes from A2AR-/- mice, suggesting that A2B adenosine receptors cannot fully compensate for the loss of A2ARs in murine T-cells. We conclude that the number of A2ARs is the limiting factor in determining the maximal cAMP response of T-lymphocytes to extracellular adenosine, thereby minimizing the immunosuppressive effects of extracellular adenosine.
Project description:MMP-1 expression is detected in fluid shear stress (20 dyn/cm(2))-activated and osteoarthritic human chondrocytes, however, the precise mechanisms underlying shear-induced MMP-1 synthesis remain unknown. Using primary chondrocytes and T/C-28a2 chondrocytic cells as model systems, we report that prolonged application of high fluid shear to human chondrocytes induced the synthesis of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), interleukin-1? (IL-1?) and fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2), which led to a marked increase in MMP-1 expression. IL-1?, COX-2-dependent PGE2 activated the PI3-K/AKT and p38 signaling pathways, which were in turn responsible for MMP-1 synthesis via NF-?B- and c-Jun-transactivating pathways. Prolonged shear stress exposure (>12 h) induced 15-Deoxy-?(12,14)-prostaglandin J2 (15d-PGJ2) synthesis. Although 15d-PGJ2 suppressed PI3-K/AKT and p38 signaling pathways, it stimulated MMP-1 expression via activating heme oxygenase 1 (HO-1). The critical role of COX-2 in regulating MMP-1 expression in articular cartilage in vivo was demonstrated using COX-2(+/-) transgenic mice in the absence or presence of rofecoxib oral administration. These findings provide novel insights for developing therapeutic strategies to combat OA.
Project description:Adenosine A2A receptor (A2AR) stimulation promotes wound healing and is required for the development of fibrosis in murine models of scleroderma and cirrhosis. Nonetheless, the role of A2AR in the formation of scars following skin trauma has not been explored. Here, we examined the effect of pharmacological blockade of A2AR, with the selective adenosine A2AR-antagonist ZM241385 (2.5 mg/ml), in a murine model of scarring that mimics human scarring. We found that application of the selective adenosine A2AR antagonist ZM241385 decreased scar size and enhanced the tensile strength of the scar. Within the scar itself, collagen alignment and composition (marked reduction in collagen 3), but not periostin, biglycan, or fibronectin accumulation, was improved by application of ZM241385. Moreover, A2AR blockade reduced the number of myofibroblasts and angiogenesis but not macrophage infiltration in the scar. Taken together, our work strongly suggests that pharmacological A2AR blockade can be used to diminish scarring while improving the collagen composition and tensile strength of the healed wound.
Project description:Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis worldwide. It is a complex disease affecting the whole joint but is generally characterized by progressive degradation of articular cartilage. Recent genome-wide association screens have implicated distinct DNA methylation signatures in OA patients. We show that the de novo DNA methyltransferase (Dnmt) 3b, but not Dnmt3a, is present in healthy murine and human articular chondrocytes and expression decreases in OA mouse models and in chondrocytes from human OA patients. Targeted deletion of Dnmt3b in murine articular chondrocytes results in an early onset and progressive post-natal OA-like pathology. RNA-seq and MethylC-seq analyses of Dnmt3b loss-of-function chondrocytes shows that cellular metabolic processes are affected. Specifically, TCA metabolites and mitochondrial respiration are elevated. Importantly, a chondroprotective effect was found following Dnmt3b gain-of-function in murine articular chondrocytes in vitro and in vivo. This study shows that Dnmt3b plays a significant role in regulating post-natal articular cartilage homeostasis. Cellular pathways regulated by Dnmt3b in chondrocytes may provide novel targets for therapeutic approaches to treat OA. Overall design: RNA-seq and whole-genome bisulfite sequencing (WGBS) of DNMT3b knockout and control samples in mouse.
Project description:Mechanical overloading of articular cartilage producing hydrostatic stress, tensile strain, and fluid flow results in irreversible cartilage erosion and osteoarthritis (OA). Application of high fluid shear to chondrocytes recapitulates the earmarks of OA as evidenced by the induction of proinflammatory cytokines and prostaglandins, which are capable of inducing the expression of matrix-degrading enzymes. Matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) synthesis is detected at early but not late stages of OA. However, the underlying mechanism(s) of the MMP-9 temporal regulation remains unknown. Using the T/C-28a2 chondrocyte cell line as a model system, we demonstrated that high fluid shear induces a marked increase in MMP-9 expression at short shear exposure times (3-6 h), which falls below basal levels after prolonged shear exposure (12-48 h). High fluid shear stress induced the rapid and sustained synthesis of IL-1?, activating PI3K, ERK1/2, and JNK, which are in turn responsible for MMP-9 expression. Prolonged shear exposure (>12 h) induced 15-deoxy-?(12,14)-prostaglandin J(2) (15d-PGJ(2)) synthesis, which exerted an antagonistic effect on IL-1?-mediated PI3K-, ERK1/2-, and JNK-dependent NF-?B activation, thereby suppressing MMP-9 expression in human chondrocytes. Reconstructing the signaling network that regulates shear-mediated MMP-9 expression in human chondrocytes may provide insights for developing strategies to treat arthritic disorders.
Project description:Mechanical overloading of cartilage producing hydrostatic stress, tensile strain, and fluid flow can adversely affect chondrocyte function and precipitate osteoarthritis (OA). Application of high fluid shear stress to chondrocytes recapitulates the earmarks of OA, as evidenced by the release of pro-inflammatory mediators, matrix degradation, and chondrocyte apoptosis. Elevated levels of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), prostaglandin (PG) E(2), and interleukin (IL)-6 have been reported in OA cartilage in vivo, and in shear-activated chondrocytes in vitro. Although PGE(2) positively regulates IL-6 synthesis in chondrocytes, the underlying signaling pathway of shear-induced IL-6 expression remains unknown. Using the human T/C-28a2 chondrocyte cell line as a model system, we demonstrate that COX-2-derived PGE(2) signals via up-regulation of E prostanoid (EP) 2 and down-regulation of EP3 receptors to raise intracellular cAMP, and activate protein kinase A (PKA) and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3-K)/Akt pathways. PKA and PI3-K/Akt transactivate the NF-kappaB p65 subunit via phosphorylation at Ser-276 and Ser-536, respectively. Binding of p65 to the IL-6 promoter elicits IL-6 synthesis in sheared chondrocytes. Selective knockdown of EP2 or ectopic expression of EP3 blocks PKA- and PI3-K/Akt-dependent p65 activation and markedly diminishes shear-induced IL-6 expression. Similar inhibitory effects on IL-6 synthesis were observed by inhibiting PKA, PI3-K, or NF-kappaB using pharmacological and/or genetic interventions. Reconstructing the signaling network regulating shear-induced IL-6 expression in chondrocytes may provide insights for developing therapeutic strategies for arthritic disorders and for culturing artificial cartilage in bioreactors.