Author(s): Bomsta BD, Bridgewater LC, Seegmiller RE
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: Degeneration of articular cartilage leads to the development of osteoarthritis (OA), but the molecular pathology of the disease is poorly understood. The Disproportionate micromelia (Dmm) mouse has a deletion mutation in the C-propeptide encoding region of Col2a1, which leads to a defective cartilage matrix. The objective of this study was to determine whether heterozygous (Dmm/+) mice develop premature OA, and could therefore serve as an animal model for studying the molecular pathways leading to OA. DESIGN: Histological analysis was utilized to determine the state of articular cartilage degeneration in Dmm/+ mice at 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, and 22 months of age. Severity of OA was quantified with a modified Mankin scoring system. In addition, articular cartilage thickness, cell density, and the extracellular matrix (ECM) fraction of articular cartilage were quantified. RESULTS: Articular cartilage erosion was significantly more severe in Dmm/+ than in wild-type (+/+) mice beginning at 9 months, and modified Mankin scoring revealed Dmm/+ articular cartilage to be in a more severe osteoarthritic state as early as 3 months. In addition, Dmm/+ articular cartilage was thinner than +/+ cartilage and showed increased cell density and decreased matrix fraction compared with +/+ from the earliest time points measured. CONCLUSIONS: The present study demonstrates that Dmm/+ mice develop premature OA. The observed degenerative changes of Dmm/+ articular cartilage closely resemble those of human OA patients, with or without Col2a1 mutations, suggesting that Dmm/+ mice are a useful model for investigating mechanisms involved in OA.
This article was published in Osteoarthritis Cartilage
and referenced in Journal of Arthritis