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A novel whole “Joint-in-Motion” device reveals a permissive effect of high glucose levels and mechanical stress on joint destruction

  • C.K. Hui Mingalone
    Affiliations
    Program in Cell, Molecular, and Developmental Biology, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Tufts University, Boston, MA 02111, USA
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  • C.R. Nehme
    Affiliations
    Department of Mechanical Engineering, Tufts University, Medford, MA 02155, USA
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  • Y. Chen
    Affiliations
    Program in Pharmacology and Drug Development, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Tufts University, Boston, MA 02111, USA
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  • J. Liu
    Affiliations
    Department of Immunology, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA 02111, USA
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  • B.N. Longo
    Affiliations
    Department of Mechanical Engineering, Tufts University, Medford, MA 02155, USA
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  • K.D. Garvey
    Affiliations
    Program in Pharmacology and Drug Development, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Tufts University, Boston, MA 02111, USA
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  • S.M. Covello
    Affiliations
    Program in Pharmacology and Drug Development, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Tufts University, Boston, MA 02111, USA
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  • H.C. Nielsen
    Affiliations
    Program in Cell, Molecular, and Developmental Biology, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Tufts University, Boston, MA 02111, USA

    Department of Pediatrics, Tufts Medical Center, Boston, MA 02111, USA
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  • T. James
    Affiliations
    Department of Mechanical Engineering, Tufts University, Medford, MA 02155, USA
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  • W.C. Messner
    Correspondence
    Address correspondence and reprint requests to: W.C. Messner, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Tufts University, Medford, MA 02155, USA. Tel: 1-412-443-6517.
    Affiliations
    Department of Mechanical Engineering, Tufts University, Medford, MA 02155, USA
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  • L. Zeng
    Correspondence
    Address correspondence and reprint requests to: L. Zeng, Program in Cell, Molecular, and Developmental Biology, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Tufts University, Boston, MA 02111, USA. Tel: 1-617-636-2107; Fax: 1-617-636-3676.
    Affiliations
    Program in Cell, Molecular, and Developmental Biology, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Tufts University, Boston, MA 02111, USA

    Program in Pharmacology and Drug Development, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Tufts University, Boston, MA 02111, USA

    Department of Immunology, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA 02111, USA
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Published:November 11, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.joca.2022.10.018

      Summary

      Objective

      Osteoarthritis (OA) has recently been suggested to be associated with diabetes. However, this association often disappears when accounting for body mass index (BMI), suggesting that mechanical stress may be a confounding factor. We investigated the combined influence of glucose level and loading stress on OA progression using a novel whole joint-in-motion (JM) culture system.

      Design

      Whole mouse knee joints were placed in an enclosed chamber with culture media and actuated to recapitulate leg movement, with a dynamic stress regimen of 0.5 Hz, 8 h/day for 7 days. These joints were treated with varying levels of glucose and controlled for osmolarity and diffusion. Joint movement and joint space were examined by X-ray fluoroscopy and microCT. Cartilage matrix levels were quantified by blinded Mankin scoring and immunohistochemistry.

      Results

      Culturing in the JM device facilitated proper leg extension and flexion movements, and adequate mass transport for analyzing the effect of glucose on cartilage. Treatment with higher levels of glucose either via media supplementation or intra-articular injection caused a significant decrease in levels of glycosaminoglycan (GAG) and an increase in aggrecan neoepitope in articular cartilage, but only under dynamic stress. Additionally, collagen II level was slightly reduced by high glucose levels.

      Conclusions

      High levels of glucose and dynamic stress have permissive effects on articular cartilage GAG loss and aggrecan degradation, implicating that mechanical stress confounds the association of diabetes with OA. The JM device supports novel investigation of mechanical stress on the integrity of an intact living mouse joint to provide insights into OA pathogenesis.

      Keywords

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