Inhibition of cartilage damage by pro-opiomelanocortin prohormone overexpression in a rat model of osteoarthritis
Shen, PC and Shiau, AL and Jou, IM and Lee, CH and Tai, MH and Juan, HY and Lin, PR and Liu, GS and Wu, CL and Hsieh, JL, Inhibition of cartilage damage by pro-opiomelanocortin prohormone overexpression in a rat model of osteoarthritis, Experimental Biology and Medicine, 236, (3) pp. 334-340. ISSN 1535-3702 (2011) [Refereed Article]
Copyright 2011 Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine
Pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) is a precursor of various neuropeptides. POMC-derived neuropeptides are potent inflammation inhibitors and immunosuppressants. Evidence that osteoarthritis (OA) is an inflammatory disease is accumulating. We assessed whether intra-articular gene delivery of POMC ameliorates experimentally induced OA in a rat model. OA was induced in Wistar rats by anterior cruciate ligament-transection (ACLT) in the knee of one hind limb. Adenoviral vector encoding human POMC (AdPOMC) was injected intra-articularly into the knee joints after ACLT. The transgene expression and the inflammatory responses were evaluated using immunoblotting, immunohistochemistry and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The treated joints were assessed histologically for manifestations of the disease. Human POMC was expressed in the chondrocytes and synovial membrane after the intra-articular injection. POMC gene transfer reduced nuclear factor-κB activity and the levels of interleukin-1β in HTB-94 chondrosarcoma cells and Raw 264.7 macrophages; it also reduced microvessel density in the synovium. Histological examination showed that symptoms of OA in AdPOMC-treated rats were less severe than in rats treated with either empty adenoviral vector (AdNull) or normal saline. Intra-articular injection of adenoviral vectors expressing POMC significantly suppressed the progression and severity of OA, and reduced inflammatory responses and angiogenesis. POMC gene delivery may offer novel therapeutic approach for treating OA.