Meniscal and ligament modifications in spontaneous and post-traumatic mouse models of osteoarthritis

Ramos-Mucci, Lorenzo, Javaheri, Behzad ORCID: 0000-0001-7941-3104, van ‘t Hof, Rob ORCID: 0000-0002-8193-6788, Bou-Gharios, George ORCID: 0000-0002-9563-9418, Pitsillides, Andrew, Comerford, Eithne and Poulet, Blandine
(2019) Meniscal and ligament modifications in spontaneous and post-traumatic mouse models of osteoarthritis.

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Abstract Osteoarthritis (OA) is a whole joint disease that affects all joint tissues, with changes in the articular cartilage (AC), subchondral bone and synovium. Pathologies in menisci and ligaments, however, are rarely analysed, although both are known to play vital roles in the mechanical stability of the joint. The aim of our study was to describe the pathological changes in menisci and ligament during disease development in murine spontaneous and post-traumatic surgically-induced OA and to quantify tissue mineralisation in the joint space using µCT imaging during OA progression. Knees of Str/ort mice (spontaneous OA model; 26-40wks) and C57CBA F1 mice following destabilisation of medial meniscus (DMM) surgery (post-traumatic OA model; 8wks after DMM), were used to assess histological meniscal and ligament pathologies. Joint space mineralised tissue volume was quantified by µCT. Meniscal pathological changes in Str/ort mouse knees were associated with articular cartilage lesion severity. These meniscal changes included ossification, hyperplasia, cell hypertrophy, collagen type II deposition and SOX9 expression in the fibrous region near the attachment to the knee joint capsule. Anterior cruciate ligaments exhibited extracellular matrix changes and chondrogenesis particularly at the tibial attachment site, and ossification was seen in collateral ligaments. Similar changes were confirmed in the post-traumatic DMM model. µCT analysis showed increased joint space mineralised tissue volume with OA progression in both the post-traumatic and spontaneous OA models. Modifications in meniscal and ligament mineralisation and chondrogenesis are seen with overt AC degeneration in murine OA. Although the aetiology and the consequences of such changes remain unknown, they will influence stability and load transmission of the joint and may therefore contribute to OA progression. In addition, these changes may have important roles in movement restriction and pain, which represent major human clinical symptoms of OA. Description of such soft tissue changes, in addition to AC degradation, should be an important aspect of future studies in mouse models in order to furnish a more complete understanding of OA pathogenesis. Summary statement This manuscript describes histological changes in mouse knee joints in two models of osteoarthritis and correlates joint space mineralised tissue volume measured by µCT with disease severity.

Item Type: Article
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 18 Nov 2019 09:48
Last Modified: 25 Jan 2022 18:27
DOI: 10.1101/816306
Open Access URL: