Critical molecular regulators, histomorphometric indices and their correlations in the trabecular bone in primary hip osteoarthritis

Duminda Kumarasinghe, Egon Perilli, Helen Tsangari, Lena Truong, Julia Kuliwaba, Blair Hopwood, G Atkins, Nicola Fazzalari

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    24 Citations (Scopus)


    Objective: This study examined differential gene expression, histomorphometric indices and relationships between these, in femoral trabecular bone from osteoarthritis (OA) patients and control (CTL) subjects, with the aim of identifying potential molecular drivers consistent with changes in structural and remodelling indices in the OA pathology. Materials and methods: Bone samples from the intertrochanteric (IT) region were obtained from age and sex-matched cohorts of 23 primary hip OA patients and 21 CTL subjects. Real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and histomorphometric analysis were performed on each sample and correlations between gene expression and histomorphometric variables determined. Results: Alterations in gene expression, structural indices and correlations between these were found in OA bone compared to CTL. In OA bone, expression of critical regulators of osteoblast differentiation (TWIST1) and function (PTEN, TIMP4) were decreased, while genes associated with inflammation (SMAD3, CD14) were increased. Bone structural and formation indices (BV/TV, Tb.N, OS/BS) were increased, whereas resorption indices (ES/BS, ES/BV) were decreased. Importantly, significant correlations in CTL bone between CTNNB1 expression and formation indices (OS/BS, OS/BV, OV/BV) were absent in OA bone, indicating altered WNT/β-catenin signalling. TWIST1 expression and BV/TV were correlated in CTL bone, but not in OA bone, consistent with altered osteoblastogenesis in OA. Matrix metalloproteinase 25 (MMP25) expression and remodelling indices (ES/BS, ES/BV, ES/TV) were correlated only in OA pointing to aberrant bone remodelling in this pathology. Conclusions: These findings indicate an altered state of osteoblast differentiation and function in OA driven by several key molecular regulators. In association with this differential gene expression, an altered state of both trabecular bone remodelling and resulting microarchitecture were also observed, further characterising the pathogenesis of primary hip OA.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1337-1344
    Number of pages8
    JournalOsteoarthritis and Cartilage
    Issue number10
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2010


    • Bone remodelling
    • Gene expression
    • Hip osteoarthritis
    • Histomorphometry
    • Microarchitecture
    • Osteoblast


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